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Alpha-2 macroglobulin (abbreviated α2M or A2M) is a large plasma protein found in the blood. It is produced by the liver, and is a major component of the alpha-2 band in protein electrophoresis.
Additional recommended knowledge
Alpha-2 macroglobulin is compose of four identical subunits bound together by -S-S- bonds.
Alpha-2 macroglobulin is able to inactivate an enormous variety of proteinases (including serine-, cysteine-, aspartic- and metalloproteinases).
Alpha-2 macroglobulin has in its structure a 35 aminoacid "bait" region. Proteinases binding and cleaving the bait region become bound to α2M. The proteinase-α2M complex is recognised by macrophage receptors and cleared from the system.
It functions as an inhibitor of coagulation by inhibiting thrombin.
It functions as an inhibitor of fibrinolysis by inhibiting plasmin:
Alpha-2 macroglobulin levels are increased in nephrotic syndrome, a condition wherein the kidneys start to leak out some of the smaller blood proteins. Because of its size, α2-macroglobulin is retained in the bloodstream. Increased production of all proteins means α2-macroglobulin concentration increases. This increase has little adverse effect on the health, but is used as a diagnostic clue. Longstanding chronic renal failure can lead to amyloid by alpha-2 macroglobulin (see main article: amyloid).
A common variant (29.5%) (polymorphism) of α2-macroglobulin leads to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, although the mechanism is unknown.
α-2 macroglobulin binds to and removes the active forms of the gelatinase (MMP-2 and MMP-9) from the circulation via scavenger receptors on the phagocytes.
Categories: Genes on chromosome 12 | Acute phase proteins
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alpha_2-macroglobulin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|