The information on this page was automatically extracted from online scientific databases.
From NCBI Gene:
Alpha-2-macroglobulin is a protease inhibitor and cytokine transporter. It inhibits many proteases, including trypsin, thrombin and collagenase. A2M is implicated in Alzheimer disease (AD) due to its ability to mediate the clearance and degradation of A-beta, the major component of beta-amyloid deposits. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Is able to inhibit all four classes of proteinases by a unique 'trapping' mechanism. This protein has a peptide stretch, called the 'bait region' which contains specific cleavage sites for different proteinases. When a proteinase cleaves the bait region, a conformational change is induced in the protein which traps the proteinase. The entrapped enzyme remains active against low molecular weight substrates (activity against high molecular weight substrates is greatly reduced). Following cleavage in the bait region a thioester bond is hydrolyzed and mediates the covalent binding of the protein to the proteinase.