Macromolecular complex

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Macromolecular complexes include both macrohormones and macroenzymes, which consist of hormones and enzymes respectively covalently bound to carrier molecules, e.g. immunoglobulins, or occasionally the molecule may self-polymerise. Their primary importance lies in their ability to produce an artifactually-high level of the particular hormone/enzyme in the blood as standard laboratory assays do not distinguish between the unbound and bound forms of the hormone/enzyme, e.g. in hyperamylasaemia the serum amylase appears to be elevated but may actually be normal. This may lead to inappropriate investigations and therapy.

Macrohormones
  • macro-thyroid stimulating hormone (macro-TSH)
  • macroprolactin
Macroenzymes
Immunoglobulin-bound
  • macro-alkaline phosphatase
  • macroamylase
  • macro-creatine kinase (macro-CK)
  • macro-gamma-glutamyl transferase (macro-GGT)
  • macro-lactate dehydrogenase (macro-LDH)
  • macrolipase
Non-immunoglobulin-bound
  • macroamylase: amylase may bind to hydroxyethyl starch 2
  • macro-mitochondrial creatine kinase: mitochondrial CK self-polymerises 2
  • macrotrypsin: proteases may bind to alpha-2-macroglobulin 2
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Article information

rID: 64093
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Macrohormone
  • Macroenzyme

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