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Additional recommended knowledge
Alpha-2 macroglobulin is compose of four identical subunits bound together by -S-S- bonds.
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 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).
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.
|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.|