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From NCBI Gene:
The protein encoded by this gene is a protease inhibitor and cytokine transporter. It uses a bait-and-trap mechanism to inhibit a broad spectrum of proteases, including trypsin, thrombin and collagenase. It can also inhibit inflammatory cytokines, and it thus disrupts inflammatory cascades. Mutations in this gene are a cause of alpha-2-macroglobulin deficiency. This gene is implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to its ability to mediate the clearance and degradation of A-beta, the major component of beta-amyloid deposits. A related pseudogene, which is also located on the p arm of chromosome 12, has been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2016]