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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sequence of rat liver alpha 2-macroglobulin and acute phase control of its messenger RNA.

Six alpha 2-macroglobulin cDNA clones were isolated from two liver cDNA libraries produced from rats undergoing acute inflammation. The coding sequence for rat alpha 2-macroglobulin including its 27-residue signal peptide and the 3' - and part of the 5' nontranslated regions were determined. The mature protein consisting of 1445 amino acids is coded for by a 4790 +/- 40 nucleotide messenger RNA. It contains a typical internal thiol ester region and 25 cysteine residues which are conserved between rat and human alpha 2-macroglobulin. Although the amino acid sequences of rat and human alpha 2-macroglobulin share 73% identity, two small divergent areas of 17 and 38 residues were found, corresponding to 29 and 11% identity, respectively. These areas are located in the bait region and, therefore, may confer specific proteinase recognition capabilities on rat alpha 2-macroglobulin. Following an inflammatory stimulation, rat alpha 2-macroglobulin mRNA levels increased 214-fold over control values and reached a maximum at 18 h. By 24 h the levels had decreased to less than 30% of the maximum value. Transcription rates from the alpha 2-macroglobulin gene as measured in nuclear run-on experiments showed a less than 3-fold increase in nuclei from acutely inflamed rats as compared to controls. These results suggest that the accummulation of alpha 2M mRNA is due to the combined effects of increased transcription rates and post-transcriptional processing.[1]


  1. Sequence of rat liver alpha 2-macroglobulin and acute phase control of its messenger RNA. Gehring, M.R., Shiels, B.R., Northemann, W., de Bruijn, M.H., Kan, C.C., Chain, A.C., Noonan, D.J., Fey, G.H. J. Biol. Chem. (1987) [Pubmed]
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