Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 139, Issue 4, pp 605–613 | Cite as

Choosing the right antibody for resistin-like molecule (RELM/FIZZ) family members

  • Chunling Fan
  • Brian A. Johns
  • Qingning Su
  • Irina A. Kolosova
  • Roger A. JohnsEmail author
Original Paper


The family of resistin-like molecules (RELM), also known as found in inflammatory zone (FIZZ), consists of four members in mouse (RELMα/FIZZ1/HIMF, RELMβ/FIZZ2, Resistin/FIZZ3, and RELMγ/FIZZ4) and two members in human (resistin and RELMβ). The importance of these proteins in many aspects of physiology and pathophysiology, especially inflammatory processes, is rapidly evolving in the literature, and many investigators are beginning to work in this field. Most published studies focus on only one isoform, do not evaluate other isoforms that might be present, and have not tested for the specificity of the antibody used. Because RELM isoforms have high sequence and structural similarity and both distinct and overlapping functions, it is important to use a specific antibody to distinguish each isoform in the study. We constructed and established HEK 293 cell lines that constitutively express each isoform. Using these cell lines, we determined the specificity of antibodies (both commercially available and laboratory-made) to each isoform by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Some of the antibodies showed specificity in Western blotting but were not applicable in immunofluorescence. Others showed cross reactivity in Western blot assays. Our results indicate that RELM antibody specificity should be taken into account when using them in research and interpreting data obtained with them.


RELMα RELMβ RELMγ Resistin Antibody specificity 



This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Specialized Centers of Clinically Oriented Research Grant P50084946 (to R.A.J.) and Centers for Advanced Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics Grant P50HL107182 (to R.A.J.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunling Fan
    • 1
  • Brian A. Johns
    • 2
  • Qingning Su
    • 3
  • Irina A. Kolosova
    • 1
  • Roger A. Johns
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care MedicineJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Shenzhen University School of MedicineShenzhenChina

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