Summary: Alpha-2-macroglobulin family
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Alpha-2-Macroglobulin Edit Wikipedia article
|, A2MD, CPAMD5, FWP007, S863-7, transcuprein, alpha-2-macroglobulin|
alpha-2-Macroglobulin (α2M) is a large (720 KDa) plasma protein found in the blood. It is mainly produced by the liver, and also locally synthesized by macrophages, fibroblasts, and adrenocortical cells. In humans it is encoded by the A2M gene.
Alpha 2 macroglobulin acts as an antiprotease and is able to inactivate an enormous variety of proteinases. It functions as an inhibitor of fibrinolysis by inhibiting plasmin and kallikrein. It functions as an inhibitor of coagulation by inhibiting thrombin. Alpha-2-macroglobulin may act as a carrier protein because it also binds to numerous growth factors and cytokines, such as platelet-derived growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, TGF-β, insulin, and IL-1β.
No specific deficiency with associated disease has been recognized, and no disease state is attributed to low concentrations of alpha-2-macroglobulin. The concentration of alpha-2-macroglobulin rises 10-fold or more in the nephrotic syndrome when other lower molecular weight proteins are lost in the urine. The loss of alpha-2-macroglobulin into urine is prevented by its large size. The net result is that alpha-2-macroglobulin reaches serum levels equal to or greater than those of albumin in the nephrotic syndrome, which has the effect of maintaining oncotic pressure.
Human alpha-2-macroglobulin is composed of four identical subunits bound together by -S-S- bonds. In addition to tetrameric forms of alpha-2-macroglobulin, dimeric, and more recently monomeric aM protease inhibitors have been identified.
Each monomer of human alpha-2-macroglobulin is composed of several functional domains, including macroglobulin domains, a thiol ester-containing domain and a receptor-binding domain. Overall, alpha-2-Macroglobulin is the largest major nonimmunoglobulin protein in human plasma.
The alpha-macroglobulin (aM) family of proteins includes protease inhibitors, typified by the human tetrameric alpha-2-macroglobulin (a2M); they belong to the MEROPS proteinase inhibitor family I39, clan IL. These protease inhibitors share several defining properties, which include (i) the ability to inhibit proteases from all catalytic classes, (ii) the presence of a 'bait region' (aka. a sequence of amino acids in an α2-macroglobulin molecule, or a homologous protein, that contains scissile peptide bonds for those proteinases that it inhibits) and a thiol ester, (iii) a similar protease inhibitory mechanism and (iv) the inactivation of the inhibitory capacity by reaction of the thiol ester with small primary amines. aM protease inhibitors inhibit by steric hindrance. The mechanism involves protease cleavage of the bait region, a segment of the aM that is particularly susceptible to proteolytic cleavage, which initiates a conformational change such that the aM collapses about the protease. In the resulting aM-protease complex, the active site of the protease is sterically shielded, thus substantially decreasing access to protein substrates. Two additional events occur as a consequence of bait region cleavage, namely (i) the h-cysteinyl-g-glutamyl thiol ester becomes highly reactive and (ii) a major conformational change exposes a conserved COOH-terminal receptor binding domain  (RBD). RBD exposure allows the aM protease complex to bind to clearance receptors and be removed from circulation. Tetrameric, dimeric, and, more recently, monomeric aM protease inhibitors have been identified.
alpha-2-Macroglobulin is able to inactivate an enormous variety of proteinases (including serine-, cysteine-, aspartic- and metalloproteinases). It functions as an inhibitor of fibrinolysis by inhibiting plasmin and kallikrein. It functions as an inhibitor of coagulation by inhibiting thrombin. Alpha-2-macroglobulin has in its structure a 35 amino acid "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.
alpha-2-Macroglobulin is known to bind zinc, as well as copper in plasma, even more strongly than albumin, and such it is also known as transcuprein. 10-15% of copper in human plasma is chelated by alpha-2-macroglobulin.
alpha-2-Macroglobulin levels are increased when the serum albulin levels are low, which is most commonly seen in nephrotic syndrome, a condition wherein the kidneys start to leak out some of the smaller blood proteins. Because of its size, alpha-2-macroglobulin is retained in the bloodstream. Increased production of all proteins means alpha-2-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).
alpha-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.
- GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000175899 - Ensembl, May 2017
- GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000030111 - Ensembl, May 2017
- "Human PubMed Reference:".
- "Mouse PubMed Reference:".
- Andersen GR, Koch TJ, Dolmer K, Sottrup-Jensen L, Nyborg J (October 1995). "Low resolution X-ray structure of human methylamine-treated alpha 2-macroglobulin". J. Biol. Chem. 270 (42): 25133–41. doi:10.1074/jbc.270.42.25133. PMID 7559647.
- Sottrup-Jensen L, Stepanik TM, Kristensen T, Wierzbicki DM, Jones CM, Lønblad PB, et al. (1984). "Primary structure of human alpha 2-macroglobulin. V. The complete structure". J Biol Chem. 259 (13): 8318–27. PMID 6203908.
- Dodds AW, Law SK (December 1998). "The phylogeny and evolution of the thioester bond-containing proteins C3, C4 and alpha 2-macroglobulin". Immunol. Rev. 166: 15–26. doi:10.1111/j.1600-065X.1998.tb01249.x. PMID 9914899.
- Armstrong PB, Quigley JP (1999). "Alpha2-macroglobulin: an evolutionarily conserved arm of the innate immune system". Dev. Comp. Immunol. 23 (4-5): 375–90. doi:10.1016/s0145-305x(99)00018-x. PMID 10426429.
- Doan N, Gettins PG (2007). "Human alpha2-macroglobulin is composed of multiple domains, as predicted by homology with complement component C3". Biochem J. 407 (1): 23–30. doi:10.1042/BJ20070764. PMC . PMID 17608619.
- Sottrup-Jensen L (July 1989). "Alpha-macroglobulins: structure, shape, and mechanism of proteinase complex formation". J. Biol. Chem. 264 (20): 11539–42. PMID 2473064.
- Enghild JJ, Salvesen G, Thøgersen IB, Pizzo SV (July 1989). "Proteinase binding and inhibition by the monomeric alpha-macroglobulin rat alpha 1-inhibitor-3". J. Biol. Chem. 264 (19): 11428–35. PMID 2472396.
- Enghild JJ, Thøgersen IB, Roche PA, Pizzo SV (February 1989). "A conserved region in alpha-macroglobulins participates in binding to the mammalian alpha-macroglobulin receptor". Biochemistry. 28 (3): 1406–12. doi:10.1021/bi00429a069. PMID 2469470.
- Van Leuven F, Cassiman JJ, Van den Berghe H (December 1986). "Human pregnancy zone protein and alpha 2-macroglobulin. High-affinity binding of complexes to the same receptor on fibroblasts and characterization by monoclonal antibodies". J. Biol. Chem. 261 (35): 16622–5. PMID 2430968.
- de Boer JP, Creasey AA, Chang A, Abbink JJ, Roem D, Eerenberg AJ, Hack CE, Taylor FB (December 1993). "Alpha-2-macroglobulin functions as an inhibitor of fibrinolytic, clotting, and neutrophilic proteinases in sepsis: studies using a baboon model". Infect. Immun. 61 (12): 5035–43. PMC . PMID 7693593.
- Liu, Nanmei; Lo, Louis Shi-li; Askary, S. Hassan; Jones, LaTrice; Kidane, Theodros Z.; Nguyen, Trisha Trang Minh; Goforth, Jeremy; Chu, Yu-Hsiang; Vivas, Esther; Tsai, Monta; Westbrook, Terence; Linder, Maria C. (September 2007). "Transcuprein is a macroglobulin regulated by copper and iron availability". The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 18 (9): 597–608. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2006.11.005.
- Liu, Nan-mei; Nguyen, Trang; Kidane, Theodros; Moriya, Mizue; Goforth, Jeremy; Chu, Andy; Linder, Maria (6 March 2006). "Transcupreins are serum copper-transporters of the macroglobulin family, and may be regulated by iron and copper". The FASEB Journal. 20 (4): A553–A554. ISSN 0892-6638.
- Stevenson, FT; Greene, S; Kaysen, GA (January 1998). "Serum alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 1-inhibitor 3 concentrations are increased in hypoalbuminemia by post-transcriptional mechanisms". Kidney International. 53 (1): 67–75. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1755.1998.00734.x. PMID 9453001.
- Blacker D, Wilcox MA, Laird NM, Rodes L, Horvath SM, Go RC, Perry R, Watson B, Bassett SS, McInnis MG, Albert MS, Hyman BT, Tanzi RE (August 1998). "Alpha-2 macroglobulin is genetically associated with Alzheimer disease". Nat. Genet. 19 (4): 357–60. doi:10.1038/1243. PMID 9697696.
- Kovacs DM (July 2000). "alpha2-macroglobulin in late-onset Alzheimer's disease". Exp. Gerontol. 35 (4): 473–9. doi:10.1016/S0531-5565(00)00113-3. PMID 10959035.
- McPherson & Pincus: Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, 21st ed.
- Firestein: Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 8th edition.
This tab holds the annotation information that is stored in the Pfam database. As we move to using Wikipedia as our main source of annotation, the contents of this tab will be gradually replaced by the Wikipedia tab.
Alpha-2-macroglobulin family Provide feedback
This family includes the C-terminal region of the alpha-2-macroglobulin family.
Zanotti G, Bassetto A, Battistutta R, Folli C, Arcidiaco P, Stoppini M, Berni R; , Biochim Biophys Acta 2000;1478:232-238.: Structure at 1.44 A resolution of an N-terminally truncated form of the rat serum complement C3d fragment. PUBMED:10825534 EPMC:10825534
Internal database links
External database links
This tab holds annotation information from the InterPro database.
InterPro entry IPR001599
This entry contains serum complement C3 and C4 precursors and alpha-macrogrobulins.
The alpha-macroglobulin (aM) family of proteins includes protease inhibitors [PUBMED:2473064], typified by the human tetrameric a2-macroglobulin (a2M); they belong to the MEROPS proteinase inhibitor family I39, clan IL. These protease inhibitors share several defining properties, which include (i) the ability to inhibit proteases from all catalytic classes, (ii) the presence of a 'bait region' and a thiol ester, (iii) a similar protease inhibitory mechanism and (iv) the inactivation of the inhibitory capacity by reaction of the thiol ester with small primary amines. aM protease inhibitors inhibit by steric hindrance [PUBMED:2472396]. The mechanism involves protease cleavage of the bait region, a segment of the aM that is particularly susceptible to proteolytic cleavage, which initiates a conformational change such that the aM collapses about the protease. In the resulting aM-protease complex, the active site of the protease is sterically shielded, thus substantially decreasing access to protein substrates. Two additional events occur as a consequence of bait region cleavage, namely (i) the h-cysteinyl-g-glutamyl thiol ester becomes highly reactive and (ii) a major conformational change exposes a conserved COOH-terminal receptor binding domain [PUBMED:2469470] (RBD). RBD exposure allows the aM protease complex to bind to clearance receptors and be removed from circulation [PUBMED:2430968]. Tetrameric, dimeric, and, more recently, monomeric aM protease inhibitors have been identified [PUBMED:9914899, PUBMED:10426429].
The mapping between Pfam and Gene Ontology is provided by InterPro. If you use this data please cite InterPro.
|Molecular function||endopeptidase inhibitor activity (GO:0004866)|
Below is a listing of the unique domain organisations or architectures in which this domain is found. More...
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This clan includes a diverse range of domains that have an Ig-like fold and appear to be distantly related to each other. The clan includes: PKD domains, cadherins and several families of bacterial Ig-like domains as well as viral tail fibre proteins. it also includes several Fibronectin type III domain-containing families.
The clan contains the following 93 members:A2M A2M_N A2M_N_2 AlcCBM31 Alpha-amylase_N Alpha_adaptinC2 Arch_flagellin Arylsulfotran_N Big_1 Big_2 Big_3 Big_3_2 Big_3_3 Big_3_5 Big_4 Big_5 BiPBP_C BsuPI Cadherin Cadherin-like Cadherin_2 Cadherin_3 Cadherin_pro Calx-beta CARDB CBM39 CBM_X2 CelD_N CHB_HEX_C CHB_HEX_C_1 ChitinaseA_N CHU_C Coatamer_beta_C COP-gamma_platf CopC DUF11 DUF1410 DUF2271 DUF3244 DUF4165 DUF4625 DUF5011 DUF916 EpoR_lig-bind Filamin FixG_C FlgD_ig fn3 Fn3-like fn3_2 fn3_4 fn3_5 Fn3_assoc GBS_Bsp-like Glyco_hydro_61 He_PIG HYR IFNGR1 IL12p40_C IL17R_fnIII_D2 IL4Ra_N IL6Ra-bind Integrin_alpha2 Interfer-bind Invasin_D3 LEA_2 Lep_receptor_Ig LPMO_10 LRR_adjacent MG1 Mo-co_dimer Neurexophilin NPCBM_assoc PhoD_N PKD PKD_2 PKD_3 Pur_ac_phosph_N Qn_am_d_aIII REJ RHD_dimer Rib SoxZ SprB SVA SWM_repeat T2SS-T3SS_pil_N TcfC TIG Tissue_fac Transglut_C TRAP_beta Y_Y_Y
We store a range of different sequence alignments for families. As well as the seed alignment from which the family is built, we provide the full alignment, generated by searching the sequence database (reference proteomes) using the family HMM. We also generate alignments using four representative proteomes (RP) sets, the UniProtKB sequence database, the NCBI sequence database, and our metagenomics sequence database. More...
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We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family:
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- alignment generated by searching the metagenomics sequence database using the family HMM
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We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family. You can see a description of each above. You can view these alignments in various ways but please note that some types of alignment are never generated while others may not be available for all families, most commonly because the alignments are too large to handle.
1Cannot generate PP/Heatmap alignments for seeds; no PP data available
Key: available, not generated, — not available.
Format an alignment
We make all of our alignments available in Stockholm format. You can download them here as raw, plain text files or as gzip-compressed files.
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This page displays the phylogenetic tree for this family's seed alignment. We use FastTree to calculate neighbour join trees with a local bootstrap based on 100 resamples (shown next to the tree nodes). FastTree calculates approximately-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees from our seed alignment.
Note: You can also download the data file for the tree.
Curation and family details
This section shows the detailed information about the Pfam family. You can see the definitions of many of the terms in this section in the glossary and a fuller explanation of the scoring system that we use in the scores section of the help pages.
|Author:||Finn RD, Sammut SJ|
|Number in seed:||79|
|Number in full:||3186|
|Average length of the domain:||90.00 aa|
|Average identity of full alignment:||24 %|
|Average coverage of the sequence by the domain:||5.74 %|
|HMM build commands:||
build method: hmmbuild -o /dev/null HMM SEED
search method: hmmsearch -Z 26740544 -E 1000 --cpu 4 HMM pfamseq
|Family (HMM) version:||21|
|Download:||download the raw HMM for this family|
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This visualisation provides a simple graphical representation of the distribution of this family across species. You can find the original interactive tree in the More....
This chart is a modified "sunburst" visualisation of the species tree for this family. It shows each node in the tree as a separate arc, arranged radially with the superkingdoms at the centre and the species arrayed around the outermost ring.
How the sunburst is generated
The tree is built by considering the taxonomic lineage of each sequence that has a match to this family. For each node in the resulting tree, we draw an arc in the sunburst. The radius of the arc, its distance from the root node at the centre of the sunburst, shows the taxonomic level ("superkingdom", "kingdom", etc). The length of the arc represents either the number of sequences represented at a given level, or the number of species that are found beneath the node in the tree. The weighting scheme can be changed using the sunburst controls.
In order to reduce the complexity of the representation, we reduce the number of taxonomic levels that we show. We consider only the following eight major taxonomic levels:
Colouring and labels
Segments of the tree are coloured approximately according to their superkingdom. For example, archeal branches are coloured with shades of orange, eukaryotes in shades of purple, etc. The colour assignments are shown under the sunburst controls. Where space allows, the name of the taxonomic level will be written on the arc itself.
As you move your mouse across the sunburst, the current node will be highlighted. In the top section of the controls panel we show a summary of the lineage of the currently highlighed node. If you pause over an arc, a tooltip will be shown, giving the name of the taxonomic level in the title and a summary of the number of sequences and species below that node in the tree.
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There are some situations that the sunburst tree cannot easily handle and for which we have work-arounds in place.
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Some species in the taxonomic tree may not have one or more of the main eight levels that we display. For example, Bos taurus is not assigned an order in the NCBI taxonomic tree. In such cases we mark the omitted level with, for example, "No order", in both the tooltip and the lineage summary.
Unmapped species names
The tree is built by looking at each sequence in the full alignment for the family. We take the name of the species given by UniProt and try to map that to the full taxonomic tree from NCBI. In some cases, the name chosen by UniProt does not map to any node in the NCBI tree, perhaps because the chosen name is listed as a synonym or a misspelling in the NCBI taxonomy.
So that these nodes are not simply omitted from the sunburst tree, we group them together in a separate branch (or segment of the sunburst tree). Since we cannot determine the lineage for these unmapped species, we show all levels between the superkingdom and the species as "uncategorised".
Since we reduce the species tree to only the eight main taxonomic levels, sequences that are mapped to the sub-species level in the tree would not normally be shown. Rather than leave out these species, we map them instead to their parent species. So, for example, for sequences belonging to one of the Vibrio cholerae sub-species in the NCBI taxonomy, we show them instead as belonging to the species Vibrio cholerae.
Too many species/sequences
For large species trees, you may see blank regions in the outer layers of the sunburst. These occur when there are large numbers of arcs to be drawn in a small space. If an arc is less than approximately one pixel wide, it will not be drawn and the space will be left blank. You may still be able to get some information about the species in that region by moving your mouse across the area, but since each arc will be very small, it will be difficult to accurately locate a particular species.
The tree shows the occurrence of this domain across different species. More...
We show the species tree in one of two ways. For smaller trees we try to show an interactive representation, which allows you to select specific nodes in the tree and view them as an alignment or as a set of Pfam domain graphics.
Unfortunately we have found that there are problems viewing the interactive tree when the it becomes larger than a certain limit. Furthermore, we have found that Internet Explorer can become unresponsive when viewing some trees, regardless of their size. We therefore show a text representation of the species tree when the size is above a certain limit or if you are using Internet Explorer to view the site.
If you are using IE you can still load the interactive tree by clicking the "Generate interactive tree" button, but please be aware of the potential problems that the interactive species tree can cause.
For all of the domain matches in a full alignment, we count the number that are found on all sequences in the alignment. This total is shown in the purple box.
We also count the number of unique sequences on which each domain is found, which is shown in green. Note that a domain may appear multiple times on the same sequence, leading to the difference between these two numbers.
Finally, we group sequences from the same organism according to the NCBI code that is assigned by UniProt, allowing us to count the number of distinct sequences on which the domain is found. This value is shown in the pink boxes.
We use the NCBI species tree to group organisms according to their taxonomy and this forms the structure of the displayed tree. Note that in some cases the trees are too large (have too many nodes) to allow us to build an interactive tree, but in most cases you can still view the tree in a plain text, non-interactive representation. Those species which are represented in the seed alignment for this domain are highlighted.
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There are 16 interactions for this family. More...
We determine these interactions using iPfam, which considers the interactions between residues in three-dimensional protein structures and maps those interactions back to Pfam families. You can find more information about the iPfam algorithm in the journal article that accompanies the website.
For those sequences which have a structure in the Protein DataBank, we use the mapping between UniProt, PDB and Pfam coordinate systems from the PDBe group, to allow us to map Pfam domains onto UniProt sequences and three-dimensional protein structures. The table below shows the structures on which the A2M domain has been found. There are 90 instances of this domain found in the PDB. Note that there may be multiple copies of the domain in a single PDB structure, since many structures contain multiple copies of the same protein sequence.
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