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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Nov;11(11):5792-9.

Antibodies specific for the human retinoblastoma protein identify a family of related polypeptides.

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  • 1Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York 11724.


Even though the retinoblastoma gene is one of the best-studied tumor suppressor genes, little is known about its functional role. Like all tumor suppressor gene products, the retinoblastoma protein (pRB) is thought to inhibit some aspect of cell proliferation. It also appears to be a cellular target of several DNA tumor virus-transforming proteins, such as adenovirus E1A, human papillomavirus E7, or simian virus 40 large T antigen. To help in the analysis of pRB, we have prepared a new set of anti-human pRB monoclonal antibodies. In addition to being useful reagents for the study of human pRB, these antibodies display several unexpected properties. They can be used to distinguish different subsets of the pRBs on the basis of their phosphorylation states. Some are able to recognize pRB homologs in other species, including mice, chickens, and members of the genus Xenopus. In addition, some of these antibodies can bind directly to other cellular proteins that, like pRB, were originally identified through their association with adenovirus E1A. These immunologically cross-reactive proteins include the p107 and p300 proteins, and their recognition by antibodies raised against pRB suggests that several members of the E1A-targeted cellular proteins form a structurally and functionally related family.

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