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Changes in glycosylation of acute-phase proteins in health and disease: Occurrence, regulation and function

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The pathophysiological variations in different glycoforms of acute-phase glycoproteins in serum most likely result from changes in the glycosylation process during their biosynthesis in the parenchymal cells of the liver. Biosynthesis in other cells or tissues may contribute, but in general appears to play a minor role. Inflammatory cytokines appear to regulate the process, but glycosylation changes are independent of protein synthesis. In addition, other humoral factors such as corticosteroids and growth factors are involved. The interplay of these factors is determined by the stage of the disease (e.g rheumatoid arthritis), the physiological situation (e.g. pregnancy), or directly or indirectly by extraneous factors such as drugs (e.g. ethanol). Information about the functional implications of the changes is limited, but some reports suggest that for α1-acid glycoprotein the changes might affect the operation of the immune system.

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van Dijk, W., Turner, G.A. & Mackiewicz, A. Changes in glycosylation of acute-phase proteins in health and disease: Occurrence, regulation and function. Glycosylation & Disease 1, 5–14 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00917463

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  • acute-phase proteins
  • disease
  • glycosylation