Johns Hopkins investigators have produced a research report discussing how retinoblastoma (Rb) protein, a tumor suppressor protein that prevents excessive cell growth by inhibiting cell cycle progression.
This scientific group investigated levels of Rb antibodies in people with lupus to see if the gene protein is present and whether there were any relevant clinical associations. They studied a group of 358 people with lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and healthy individuals.
The Lupus Foundation of America reports that the researchers found that antibodies against Rb were present in people with lupus. Anti-Rb antibodies were strongly negatively associated with (or protected against) lupus nephritis (LN), and these same autoantibodies were also positively associated with stroke.
Indicating the role of anti-Rb antibodies in systematic autoimmune diseases, the study is path-breaking in leading the way to confirm and validate the clinical significance of anti-Rb antibodies.
Livia Casciola-Rosen, PhD, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University