Dr. Casciola-Rosen’s research has been focused on the shared mechanisms underlying the autoimmune rheumatic diseases, particularly myositis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and scleroderma. Dr. Casciola-Rosen has collaborated closely with Dr. Rosen, using disease-specific autoantibodies as probes to define the events that initiate and drive the autoimmune response in the rheumatic diseases. Dr. Casciola-Rosen also runs the Bioassay Core within the rheumatic diseases research core center, which provides a variety of immune assays to investigators studying the mechanisms of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
Dr. Casciola-Rosen’s laboratory currently focuses on several areas: (i) Defining the cells in vivo which express the highest concentrations of autoantigens targeted in specific phenotypes, and demonstrating that these cells are the targets of immune attack. In myositis, muscle progenitors appear to be the cells which express the antigens targeted in this syndrome, and therefore are the primary target of ongoing attack in this disease. Studies defining these targets in other phenotypes are in progress; (ii) Understanding the autoantigens targeted in cancers associated with rheumatic diseases, and elucidating the underlying mechanisms using autoantibodies as probes of the immunologic link between autoimmunity and cancer, and (iii) Identifying and developing new antibody autoimmune disease biomarkers. Since autoimmune rheumatic diseases have highly variable and overlapping clinical presentations, biomarkers identifying specific diseases/disease subsets, or that predict disease course or monitor response to therapy, are very valuable.
- Casciola-Rosen L, Nagaraju K, Plotz P, Wang K, Levine S, Gabrielson E, Corse A and Rosen A. Enhanced autoantigen expression in regenerating muscle cells in idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. J. Exp. Med. (2005) 201: 591-601 PMCID: PMC2213068.
- Hall JC, Baer A, Shah AA, Criswell L, Shiboski C, Rosen A and Casciola-Rosen L. Molecular subsetting of interferon pathways in Sjogren’s Syndrome. Arth Rheumatol (2015) 67: 2437-46. PMCID: PMC4551661
- Shah AA, Rosen A, Hummers L, Wigley F, Casciola-Rosen L. Close temporal relationship between onset of cancer and scleroderma in patients with RNA polymerase I/III antibodies. Arthritis Rheum. (2010) 62):2787-2795. PMCID: PMC2946521; PMID: 20506513.
- Joseph CG, Darrah E, Shah AA, Skora AD, Casciola-Rosen LA, Wigley FM, Boin F, Fava A, Thoburn C, Kinde I, Jiao Y, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Rosen A. Association of the autoimmune disease scleroderma with an immunologic response to cancer. Science (2014) 343:152-157. PMID: 24310608; PMCID: PMC4038033.
- Shah AA, Casciola-Rosen L, Rosen A. Cancer-induced autoimmunity in the rheumatic diseases. Arthritis Rheumatol. (2015) 67:317-326. PMID: 25371098; PMCID: PMC4312216.
- Xu G, Shah AA, Li MZ, Xu Q, Rosen A, Casciola-Rosen L*, Elledge SJ*. Systematic autoantigen analysis identifies a distinct subtype of scleroderma with coincident cancer. PNAS (2016) 113: 7526-7534. PMID:27821747; PMCID:PMC5127349 (* denotes equal last author contributions)