Research Article

Role of the Mouse ank Gene in Control of Tissue Calcification and Arthritis

Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 265-270
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.265

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Mutation at the mouse progressive ankylosis(ank) locus causes a generalized, progressive form of arthritis accompanied by mineral deposition, formation of bony outgrowths, and joint destruction. Here, we show that theank locus encodes a multipass transmembrane protein (ANK) that is expressed in joints and other tissues and controls pyrophosphate levels in cultured cells. A highly conserved gene is present in humans and other vertebrates. These results identify ANK-mediated control of pyrophosphate levels as a possible mechanism regulating tissue calcification and susceptibility to arthritis in higher animals.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kingsley{at}

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