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High mobility group protein 1 (HMGB1) is a non-histone nuclear protein with a dual function. Inside the cell, HMGB1 binds to DNA and modulates a variety of processes, including transcription. Outside the cell, HMGB1 can serve as an alarmin to mediate disease manifestations in animal models of sepsis and arthritis; in these models, blocking HMGB1 can attenuate disease.1–3
In in vitro experiments, HMGB1 translocation and cellular release can occur during activation as well as cell death and is present in tissue in conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cutaneous lupus.4 5 While original studies suggested that release occurs only with necrosis, …
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