A protein which inhibits osteoclast differentiation and/or maturation and
a method for producing the protein. The protein is produced by human
embryonic lung fibroblasts and has a molecular weight of about 60 kD and
about 120 kD under non-reducing conditions and about 60 kD under reducing
conditions on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The protein can be
isolated and purified from the culture medium of fibroblasts.
Furthermore, the protein can be produced by gene engineering. The present
invention includes cDNA for producing the protein by gene engineering,
antibodies having specific affinity for the protein or a method for
determining protein concentration using these antibodies.