Human serum albumin

Human serum albumin

Human serum albumin is the most abundant protein in human blood plasma. It is produced in the liver. Albumin comprises about half of the blood serum protein. It is soluble and monomeric.

The gene for albumin is located on chromosome 4 and mutations in this gene can result in various anomalous proteins. The human albumin gene is 16,961 nucleotides long from the putative 'cap' site to the first poly(A) addition site. It is split into 15 exons which are symmetrically placed within the 3 domains that are thought to have arisen by triplication of a single primordial domain.

Albumin is synthesized in the liver as preproalbumin which has an N-terminal peptide that is removed before the nascent protein is released from the rough endoplasmic reticulum. The product, proalbumin, is in turn cleaved in the Golgi vesicles to produce the secreted albumin.

The reference range for albumin concentrations in blood is 30 to 50 g/L. It has a serum half-life of approximately 20 days. It has a molecular mass of 67 kDa.

Functions of albumin

* Maintains oncotic pressure
* Transports thyroid hormones
* Transports other hormones, particularly fat soluble ones
* Transports fatty acids ("free" fatty acids) to the liver
* Transports unconjugated bilirubin
* Transports many drugs, and serum albumin levels can affect the half-life of drugs.
* Competitively binds calcium ions (Ca2+)
* Buffers pH



Low blood albumin levels (hypoalbuminemia) can be caused by:

* liver disease / Cirrhosis of the liver (most commonly)
* Decreased production (as in starvation/malnutrition/malabsorption)
* Excess excretion by the kidneys (as in nephrotic syndrome)
* Excess loss in bowel (protein losing enteropathy e.g. Menetrier's)
* Burns (Plasma loss in the absence of skin barrier)
* Redistribution (hemodilution [as in Pregnancy] , increased vascular permeability or decreased lymphatic clearance)
* Acute disease states (referred to as a negative acute phase protein)
* Mutation causing analbuminemia (very rare)


Typically is a sign of severe dehydration. In some cases of retinol (Vitamin A) deficiency the albumin level can become raised to borderline High-normal values. This is because retinol causes cells to swell with water (this is also the reason too much Vitamin A is toxic).

Glycation (Glycosylation) of Serum Albumin

It has been known for a long time that human blood proteins like hemoglobin [cite journal |author=Rajbar S |title=An abnormal hemoglobin in red cells of diabetics |journal=Clin Chim Acta |volume=22 |issue=2 |pages=296–8 |year=1968 |pmid=5687098 |doi=10.1016/0009-8981(68)90372-0] and serum albumin [cite journal |author=Day J, Thorpe S, Baynes J |title=Nonenzymatically glucosylated albumin. In vitro preparation and isolation from normal human serum |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=254 |issue=3 |pages=595–7 |year=1979 |pmid=762083] [cite journal |author=Iberg N, Flückiger R |title=Nonenzymatic glycosylation of albumin in vivo. Identification of multiple glycosylated sites |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=261 |issue=29 |pages=13542–5 |year=1986 |pmid=3759977] may undergo a slow non-enzymatic glycation, mainly by formation of a Schiff base between ε-amino groups of lysine (and sometimes arginine) residues and glucose molecules in blood (Maillard reaction). This reaction can be inhibited in the presence of antioxidant agents [cite journal |author=Jakus V, Hrnciarová M, Cársky J, Krahulec B, Rietbrock N |title=Inhibition of nonenzymatic protein glycation and lipid peroxidation by drugs with antioxidant activity |journal=Life Sci |volume=65 |issue=18-19 |pages=1991–3 |year=1999 |pmid=10576452 |doi=10.1016/S0024-3205(99)00462-2] . Although this reaction may happen normally [cite journal |author=Day J, Thorpe S, Baynes J |title=Nonenzymatically glucosylated albumin. In vitro preparation and isolation from normal human serum |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=254 |issue=3 |pages=595–7 |year=1979 |pmid=762083] , elevated glycoalbumin is observed in diabetes mellitus [cite journal |author=Iberg N, Flückiger R |title=Nonenzymatic glycosylation of albumin in vivo. Identification of multiple glycosylated sites |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=261 |issue=29 |pages=13542–5 |year=1986 |pmid=3759977] .

Glycation has the potential to alter the biological structure and function of the serum albumin protein [cite journal |author=Mohamadi-Nejad A, Moosavi-Movahedi A, Hakimelahi G, Sheibani N |title=Thermodynamic analysis of human serum albumin interactions with glucose: insights into the diabetic range of glucose concentration |journal=Int J Biochem Cell Biol |volume=34 |issue=9 |pages=1115–24 |year=2002 |pmid=12009306 |doi=10.1016/S1357-2725(02)00031-6] [cite journal |author=Shaklai N, Garlick R, Bunn H |title=Nonenzymatic glycosylation of human serum albumin alters its conformation and function |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=259 |issue=6 |pages=3812–7 |year=1984 |pmid=6706980] [cite journal |author=Mendez D, Jensen R, McElroy L, Pena J, Esquerra R |title=The effect of non-enzymatic glycation on the unfolding of human serum albumin |journal=Arch Biochem Biophys |volume=444 |issue=2 |pages=92–9 |year=2005 |pmid=16309624 |doi=10.1016/] [cite journal |author=Mohamadi-Nejad A. et al.|title= The thermal analysisnext term of nonezymatic previous termglycosylation of human serum albumin:next term differential scanning calorimetry and circular dichroism studies |journal= Thermochimica Acta |volume=389 |issue=1-2 |pages=141–151 |year=2002 |doi=10.1016/S0040-6031(02)00006-0 ] . Moreover, the glycation finally can result in the formation of Advanced Glycosylation End Products (AGE), which result in abnormal biological effects. Accumulation of AGEs leads to tissue damage via alteration of the structures and functions of tissue proteins, stimulation of cellular responses, through receptors specific for AGE-proteins, and via generation of reactive oxygen intermediates. AGEs also react with DNA, thus causing mutations and DNA transposition. Thermal processing of proteins and carbohydrates brings major changes in allergenicity. AGEs are antigenic and represent many of the important neoantigens found in cooked or stored foods [cite journal |author=Kańska U, Boratyński J |title=Thermal glycation of proteins by D-glucose and D-fructose |journal=Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) |volume=50 |issue=1 |pages=61–6 |year=2002 |pmid=11916310] . They also interfere with the normal product of nitric oxide in cells [cite journal |author=Rojas A, Romay S, González D, Herrera B, Delgado R, Otero K |title=Regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression by albumin-derived advanced glycosylation end products |journal=Circ Res |volume=86 |issue=3 |pages=E50–4 |year=2000 |pmid=10679490] .

Although there are several lysine and arginine residues in the serum albumin structure, very few of them can take part in the glycation reaction [cite journal |author=Iberg N, Flückiger R |title=Nonenzymatic glycosylation of albumin in vivo. Identification of multiple glycosylated sites |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=261 |issue=29 |pages=13542–5 |year=1986 |pmid=3759977] [cite journal |author=Garlick R, Mazer J |title=The principal site of nonenzymatic glycosylation of human serum albumin in vivo |journal=J Biol Chem |volume=258 |issue=10 |pages=6142–6 |year=1983 |pmid=6853480] . It is not clear exactly why only these residues are glycated in serum albumin [cite journal |author=Marashi S. A., Safarian S., Moosavi-Movahedi A.A. |title=Why major nonenzymatic glycation sites of human serum albumin are preferred to other residues? |journal=Med Hypotheses |volume=64 |issue=4 |pages=881 |year=2005 |pmid=15694713 |doi=10.1016/j.mehy.2004.11.007] .

Testing for albumin loss via the kidneys

In the healthy kidney, albumin's size and negative electric charge exclude it from excretion in the glomerulus. This is not always the case, as in some diseases including diabetic nephropathy, a major complication of uncontrolled diabetes where proteins can cross the glomerulus. The lost albumin can be detected by a simple urine test. [ [ Microalbumin Urine Test ] ] Depending on the amount of albumin lost, a patient may have normal renal function, microalbuminuria, or albuminuria.

Amino Acid Sequence

The approximate sequence of human serum albumin is:


Where the italicized first 24 amino acids are signal and propeptide portions not observed in the transcribed, translated and transported protein but present in the gene. There are 609 amino acids in this sequence with only 585 amino acids in the final product observed in the blood.

ee also

* Reference ranges for common blood tests
* Bovine serum albumin


Further reading

citations =
*cite journal | author=Curry S |title=Beyond expansion: structural studies on the transport roles of human serum albumin. |journal=Vox Sang. |volume=83 Suppl 1 |issue= |pages= 315–9 |year= 2003 |pmid= 12617161 |doi=

External links

* [ Albumin structure] in the Protein data bank []
* [ Human Albumin information in the Swis-Prot/TrEMBL database]
* [ Human Serum Albumin] on the [ Human Protein Reference Database]

update_page = yes
require_manual_inspection = no
update_protein_box = yes
update_summary = no
update_citations = yes

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Serum albumin — This article is about the family of mammalian albumin proteins. For the human variant, see human serum albumin. For the cow variant, see bovine serum albumin. Albumin PDB rendering based on 1e7h …   Wikipedia

  • Bovine serum albumin — Bovine serum albumin, Bovine Albumin, BSA, also known as Fraction V , is a serum albumin protein that has numerous biochemical applications including ELISAs (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay), blots, and immunohistochemistry. It is also used as… …   Wikipedia

  • serum albumin — A globular protein obtained from blood and body fluids. Bovine and human serum albumins are abbreviated BSA and HSA respectively …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • Albumin — (Latin: albus, white) refers generally to any protein with water solubility, which is moderately soluble in concentrated salt solutions, and experiences heat coagulation (protein denaturation). Substances containing albumin, such as egg white,… …   Wikipedia

  • Human skin color — Skin pigmentation redirects here. For animal skin pigmentation, see Biological pigment. Variety of skin colors Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish… …   Wikipedia

  • albumin A — the normal type of human serum albumin, as opposed to electrophoretic variants …   Medical dictionary

  • Albumin — The main protein in human blood and the key to the regulation of the osmotic pressure of blood. Chemically, albumin is soluble in water, precipitated by acid, and coagulated by heat. Note that albumin is spelled with an i while albumen with an e… …   Medical dictionary

  • albumin human — [USP] a preparation of serum albumin fractionated from human whole blood, serum, plasma, or placentas; used as a plasma volume expander in the treatment of various conditions including hypovolemia, hypoproteinemia, severe burns, adult respiratory …   Medical dictionary

  • endocrine system, human — ▪ anatomy Introduction  group of ductless glands (gland) that regulate body processes by secreting chemical substances called hormones (hormone). Hormones act on nearby tissues or are carried in the bloodstream to act on specific target organs… …   Universalium

  • List of human genes — Contents 1 Genes notable for their function 2 Genes that have attracted media attention 3 Genes causing heredit …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”