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Gene Review

AFP  -  alpha-fetoprotein

Sus scrofa

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Disease relevance of AFP

  • Patients not previously treated and without metastasis who were alpha fetoprotein positive (AFP+) had a 5-month median survival compared with AFP- median survival of 10 1/2 months [1].
  • Unilateral ovariectomy-hysterectomy was performed before mating to study effects of uterine crowding on the relationship of fetal weight to AFP and albumin [2].
  • The intracellular uptake of alphafetoprotein (AFP) and its fluorescein conjugates, by cultures of the MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line, has been demonstrated using an indirect immuno-peroxidase technique or by direct visualization under fluorescent lighting [3].

High impact information on AFP

  • A subsequent examination of the Mr 55,000 cytokeratin-containing diploid epithelial cells in Fraction IV using double immunofluorescence microscopy resolved three cell populations with respect to Mr 52,000 cytokeratin and AFP expression, namely, two cell populations expressing either protein marker and a third one containing both markers [4].
  • Most of the TF and AFP (100 and 85-90%, respectively) reacted with Con A during the entire developmental period [5].
  • In this study, we investigated the effects of AFP on growth factor-stimulated estradiol (E2) production by pGC [6].
  • Since AFP is known to increase TGF alpha+IGF-I mediated cell growth, these data suggest that AFP may be inhibiting the differentiated function (steroidogenesis) of pGC while enhancing the proliferation of these cells [6].
  • AFP did not interfere with the E2 RIA, affect the uptake of or display specific in vitro binding of the androgen substrate [6].

Biological context of AFP


Anatomical context of AFP

  • These data indicate that physiological concentrations of purified AFP significantly and dose-dependently inhibit FSH-stimulated estradiol production by porcine granulosa cells in culture [9].
  • Ultrastructural autoradiographs of MCF-7 cells incubated with human 3H-AFP showed protein accumulation in several cytoplasmic organelles, particularly in lipid droplets [3].
  • However, AFP levels in fetuses from crowded litters were lower than in control fetuses at d 40 (4.5 +/- .1 vs 6.7 +/- .5 mg/ml) [2].
  • The secondary hepatocyte cultures expressed alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), albumin, and beta-fibrinogen mRNA, and conditioned medium from the cells contained elevated levels of transferrin and albumin [10].
  • In 7-day-old chick embryo, AFP carries 16% and fSA 6% free FAs, the rest being carried as phospholipids, which differs from rat and pig AFP, where all fatty acids are carried like free fatty acids [11].

Associations of AFP with chemical compounds


Other interactions of AFP


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of AFP


  1. Iodine 131 antiferritin, a new treatment modality in hepatoma: a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study. Order, S.E., Stillwagon, G.B., Klein, J.L., Leichner, P.K., Siegelman, S.S., Fishman, E.K., Ettinger, D.S., Haulk, T., Kopher, K., Finney, K. J. Clin. Oncol. (1985) [Pubmed]
  2. The relationship of fetal weight to serum albumin and alpha-fetoprotein in swine. Stone, R.T., Christenson, R.K. J. Anim. Sci. (1982) [Pubmed]
  3. Incorporation of alphafetoprotein by the MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line. Uriel, J., Failly-Crepin, C., Villacampa, M.J., Pineiro, A., Geuskens, M. Tumour Biol. (1984) [Pubmed]
  4. Differential cytokeratin and alpha-fetoprotein expression in morphologically distinct epithelial cells emerging at the early stage of rat hepatocarcinogenesis. Germain, L., Goyette, R., Marceau, N. Cancer Res. (1985) [Pubmed]
  5. Concanavalin A crossed affinoimmunoelectrophoretic analysis of the major pig serum proteins during fetal development. Lampreave, F., Alava, M.A., Piñeiro, A. Electrophoresis (1993) [Pubmed]
  6. Purified human alpha fetoprotein inhibits growth factor-stimulated estradiol production by porcine granulosa cells in monolayer culture. Keel, B.A., Eddy, K.B., Cho, S., Gangrade, B.K., May, J.V. Endocrinology (1992) [Pubmed]
  7. Mapping of the porcine alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) gene to swine chromosome 8. Kim, J.G., Nonneman, D., Vallet, J.L., Christenson, R.K. Anim. Genet. (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. Distribution of alpha-fetoprotein in fetal plasma and in amniotic and allantoic fluids of the pig. Luft, A.J., Lai, P.C., Robertson, H.A., Saunders, N.R., Lorscheider, F.L. J. Reprod. Fertil. (1984) [Pubmed]
  9. Purified human alpha-fetoprotein inhibits follicle-stimulating hormone-stimulated estradiol production by porcine granulosa cells in culture. Keel, B.A., Eddy, K.B., He, Y., Gangrade, B.K., May, J.V. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  10. Colony isolation and secondary culture of fetal porcine hepatocytes on STO feeder cells. Talbot, N.C., Pursel, V.G., Rexroad, C.E., Caperna, T.J., Powell, A.M., Stone, R.T. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. Anim. (1994) [Pubmed]
  11. Fatty acids and squalene carried by alpha fetoprotein, and fetal and adult serum albumin from chicken. Comparison with these from mammals. Copado, M.A., Ruiz-Gutiérrez, V., Rodríguez-Burgos, A. J. Protein Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  12. Guinea-pig alpha 1-fetoprotein: purification, characterization, developmental and hormonal regulation, and behavior in diethylnitrosamine hepatocarcinogenesis. Gourdeau, H., Bélanger, L. Can. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. (1983) [Pubmed]
  13. Serum concentration and properties of alpha-fetoprotein and serum level of albumin in sucking piglets. Fujimoto, T., Hara, A., Maede, Y., Namioka, S. Res. Vet. Sci. (1984) [Pubmed]
  14. Proteins in the amniotic and allantoic fluids of fetal pigs. McKenna, P. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., B (1984) [Pubmed]
  15. Alpha-fetoprotein in the brain of embryonic pigs. Mares, V., Kovárů, F., Kovárů, H., Müller, L., Zizkovský, V. Biomed. Biochim. Acta (1985) [Pubmed]
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