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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 1996 Aug;7(2):191-202.

Long pentraxins: an emerging group of proteins with diverse functions.

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Department of Microbiology, Kaplan Cancer Center, New York University Medical Center, NY 10016, USA.


The earliest described pentraxins, C reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid P component (SAP), are cytokine-inducible acute phase proteins implicated in innate immunity whose concentrations in the blood increase dramatically upon infection or trauma. The highly conserved family of pentraxins was thought to consist solely of approximately 25 kDa proteins. Recently, several distinct larger proteins have been identified in which only the C-terminal halves show characteristic features of the pentraxin family. One of the recently described "long" pentraxins (TSG-14/PTX3) is inducible by TNF or IL-1 and is produced during the acute phase response. Other newly identified long pentraxins are constitutively expressed proteins associated with sperm-egg fusion (apexin/p50), may function at the neuronal synapse (neuronal pentraxin I, NPI), or may serve yet other, unknown functions (NPII and XL-PXN1). Evidence obtained by molecular modeling and by direct physicochemical analysis suggests that TSG-14 protein retains some characteristic structural features of the pentraxins, including the formation of pentameric complexes.

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