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Molecular insights into an ancient form of Paget's disease of bone

Shaw, Barry; Burrell, Carla L.; Green, Darrell; Navarro-Martinez, Ana; Scott, Daniel; Daroszewska, Anna; van't Hof, Rob; Smith, Lynn; Hargrave, Frank; Mistry, Sharad; Bottrill, Andrew; Kessler, Benedikt; Fisher, Roman; Singh, Archana; Dalmay, Tamas; Fraser, William D.; Henneberger, Kirstin; King, Turi; Gonzalez, Silvia; Layfield, Robert


Barry Shaw

Carla L. Burrell

Darrell Green

Ana Navarro-Martinez

Nottingham Research Fellow

Anna Daroszewska

Rob van't Hof

Lynn Smith

Frank Hargrave

Sharad Mistry

Andrew Bottrill

Benedikt Kessler

Roman Fisher

Archana Singh

Tamas Dalmay

William D. Fraser

Kirstin Henneberger

Turi King

Silvia Gonzalez


We identify an ancient and atypical form of Paget’s disease of bone (PDB) in a collection of medieval skeletons exhibiting unusually extensive pathological changes, high disease prevalence, and low age-at-death estimations. Proteomic analysis of ancient bone-preserved proteins combined with analysis of small RNAs supports a retrospective diagnosis of PDB. Remains affected by other skeletal disorders may therefore hold a chemical memory amenable to similar molecular interrogation. Abnormalities in a contemporary PDB-linked protein detected in ancient tooth samples indicate that dentition may represent an unexplored storehouse for the study of skeletal disorders. Our work provides insights into the natural history of PDB and prompts a similar revaluation of other archaeological collections.


Shaw, B., Burrell, C. L., Green, D., Navarro-Martinez, A., Scott, D., Daroszewska, A., …Layfield, R. (2019). Molecular insights into an ancient form of Paget's disease of bone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(21), 10463-10472.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 26, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2019
Publication Date Apr 29, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 30, 2019
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Print ISSN 0027-8424
Electronic ISSN 1091-6490
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 116
Issue 21
Pages 10463-10472
Public URL
Publisher URL


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