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Dev Comp Immunol. 2008;32(4):339-47. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Differential transcription of multiple forms of alpha-2-macroglobulin in carp (Cyprinus carpio) infected with parasites.

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  • 1Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Ichthyobiology and Aquaculture, Gołysz, 43-520 Chybie, Poland.


Alpha-2-macroglobulin (a2M) is a non-specific protease inhibitor involved in host defense mechanisms, inhibiting both endogenous and exogenous proteases. It is unique among the plasma anti-proteases with respect to the diversity of proteases that it can inactivate. Carp a2M consists of an alpha and beta chain of which the first includes the bioactive regions. Previously, three a2M alpha chain sequences were reported for East-Asian common carp. We studied a2M alpha chain variability in European common carp and report the cloning of a fourth a2M alpha chain with distinct sequence diversity in the bait region. The role of a2M in the immune response to parasites was studied in the liver of carp infected with Trypanoplasma borreli or with Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Quantitative gene transcription analysis showed a differential regulation of the four isoforms, most clearly seen in infections with I. multifiliis. A2M3 was the only a2M isoform with a highly upregulated transcription during infection, suggesting that this particular isoform is of foremost biological importance.

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