Fetuin is a liver-produced negative acute phase protein composed of two subunits, the A and B chains.
Fetuin homologs have been identified in several species including rat, sheep, pig, rabbit, guinea pig, cattle, mouse and human. Multiple physiological roles for these homologs have been suggested, including ability to bind to hydroxyapatite crystals and to specifically inhibit the tyrosine kinase (TK) activity of the receptor (IR).
Fetuin-A (alpha2-Heremans-Schmid glycoprotein; AHSG) is an important circulating inhibitor of calcification in vivo, and is downregulated during the acute-phase response.
Sera from patients on long-term dialysis with low AHSG concentrations showed impaired ex-vivo capacity to inhibit CaxPO4 precipitation.
Fetuin may influence the resolution of inflammation by modulating the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages.
ASHG blocks TGF-beta-dependent signaling in osteoblastic cells, and mice lacking ASHG display growth plate defects, increased bone formation with age, and enhanced cytokine-dependent osteogenesis.
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Amino acid sequence