Haptoglobin as a biomarker

Naryzhny S.N.1 , Legina O.K.2

1. Institute of Biomedical Chemistry, Moscow, Russia; Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics B.P. Konstantinova National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Gatchina, Russia
2. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics B.P. Konstantinova National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Gatchina, Russia
Section: Review
DOI: 10.18097/PBMC20216702105      PubMed Id: 33860767
Year: 2021  Volume: 67  Issue: 2  Pages: 105-118
Haptoglobin (Hp) is a blood plasma glycoprotein that binds free hemoglobin (Hb) and plays a critical role in tissue protection and the prevention of oxidative damage. In addition, it has a number of regulatory functions. Haptoglobin is an acute phase protein, its concentration in plasma changes in pathology, and the test for its concentration is part of normal clinical practice. Haptoglobin is a conservative protein synthesized mainly in the liver and lungs and is the subject of research as a potential biomarker of many diseases, including various forms of malignant neoplasms. Haptoglobin has several unique biophysical characteristics. Only in humans, the Hp gene is polymorphic, has three structural alleles that control the synthesis of three major phenotypes of Hp, homozygous Hp1-1 and Hp2-2, and heterozygous Hp2-1, determined by a combination of allelic variants that are inherited. Numerous studies indicate that the phenotype of haptoglobin can be used to judge the individual's predisposition to various diseases. In addition, Hp undergoes various post-translational modifications (PTMs). These are structural transformations (removal of the signal peptide, cutting of the Pre-Hp precursor molecule into two subunits, α and β, limited proteolysis of α-chains, formation of disulfide bonds, multimerization), as well as chemical modifications of α-chains and glycosylation of the β-chain. Glycosylation of the β-chain of haptoglobin at four Asn sites is the most important variable PTM that regulates the structure and function of the glycoprotein. The study of modified oligosaccharides of the Hp β-chain has become the main direction in the study of pathological processes, including malignant neoplasms. Many studies are focused on the identification of PTM and changes in the level of the α2-chain of this protein in pathology. These characteristics of Hp indicate the possibility of the existence of this protein as different proteoforms, probably with different functions. This review is devoted to the description of the structural and functional diversity of Hp and its potential use as a biomarker of various pathologies.
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Keywords: haptoglobin, biomarker

Naryzhny, S. N., Legina, O. K. (2021). Haptoglobin as a biomarker. Biomeditsinskaya Khimiya, 67(2), 105-118.
This paper is also available as the English translation: 10.1134/S1990750821030069
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