EGR1 Protein Levels Lower in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome


In a new study, decreased plasma EGR1 protein levels and patients with fibromyalgia had a statistically significant relationship.

EGR1 Protein Levels Lower in Fibromyalgia Syndrome Group than Control Group

Credit: Sivas Cumhuriyet University

Early Growth Response 1 (EGR1) protein levels are lower in patients with fibromyalgia than healthy controls, according to a new study.1

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that causes fatigue and sleep problems. The condition affects the central nervous system—the brain, spinal cord, and nerves—and transmits information throughout the body through specialized cells.2

According to the new study, people with this condition have less EGR1 protein—a transcription factor involved in the processes of tissue injury, immune responses, and fibrosis.3 The protein uses DNA binding activity that activates the transcription of hundreds of genes. EGR1 initiates the expression of growth factors, growth factor receptors, and extracellular matrix proteins, as well as proteins dealing with regulation of cell growth or differentiation, apoptosis, growth arrest, and stress response.4 EGR1 is typically related to the development of cancer, but not much research is done on lower EGR1 protein levels.3

The new study, led by Ayca Tas, PhD, from the department of nutrition and diet, at Sivas Cumhuriyet University in Sivas, Turkey, sought to investigate the relationship between Early Growth Response (EGR1, EGR2, and EGR3) protein levels in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome and healthy controls.1

The study included 76 patients in the fibromyalgia group and 78 patients in the control group. Participants with fibromyalgia were diagnosed according to the 2010 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia in Sivas Cumhuriyet University Hospital.

The investigators drew blood samples from both groups and measured EGR1, EGR2, and EGR3 protein plasma levels using ELISA methods. They calculated statistical parametric test assumptions through the Independent Student’s t-test. With the receiver operator characteristic curve, they also looked for specificity, sensitivity, and area under curve values.

The investigators found a statistically significant relationship between plasma EGR1 protein levels of fibromyalgia patients and control groups (P = .001).

“EGR1 protein levels were found to be lower in the patient group diagnosed with FMS compared to the control group,” the investigators wrote. “It has been suggested that EGR1 protein levels can be important in the diagnosis of [fibromyalgia syndrome] disease.”


  1. Tas A, Agbektas T, Karadag A, Aydin S, Hayta E, Silig Y. Early Growth Response Protein [Egr] Levels in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Protein Pept Lett. Published online November 24, 2023. doi:10.2174/0109298665256584231103113328
  2. Causes: Fibromyalgia.,and%20extreme%20sensitivity%20to%2C%20pain. Accessed November 29, 2023.
  3. Wang, B, Guo, H, Yu, H, et al. The Role of the Transcription Factor EGR1 in Cancer. Frontiers. March 24, 2021.,%2C%20immune%20responses%2C%20and%20fibrosis. Accessed November 29, 2023.
  4. Lee, Y, Bandyopadhyay, R, Baron, V. EGR1 (Early Growth Response 1). Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Hematology. January 1, 2014. Accessed November 29, 2023.
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