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Genetics

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Insulin

Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets; it is considered to be the main anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of carbohydrates, especially glucose from the blood into liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells. In these tissues the absorbed glucose is converted into either glycogen via glycogenesis or fats (triglycerides) via lipogenesis, or, in the case of the liver, into both. Glucose production and secretion by the liver is strongly inhibited by high concentrations of insulin in the blood. Circulating insulin also affects the synthesis of proteins in a wide variety of tissues. It is therefore an anabolic hormone, promoting the conversion of small molecules in the blood into large molecules inside the cells. Low insulin levels in the blood have the opposite effect by promoting widespread catabolism, especially of reserve body fat.

Science

C-reactive protein

C-reactive protein (CRP) is an annular (ring-shaped), pentameric protein found in blood plasma, whose levels rise in response to inflammation. It is an acute-phase protein of hepatic origin that increases following interleukin-6 secretion by macrophages and T cells. Its physiological role is to bind to lysophosphatidylcholine expressed on the surface of dead or dying cells in order to activate the complement system via C1q.

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Vasopressin

Vasopressin, also named antidiuretic hormone (ADH), arginine vasopressin (AVP) or argipressin, is a hormone synthesized as a peptide prohormone in neurons in the hypothalamus, and is converted to AVP. It then travels down the axon of that cell, which terminates in the posterior pituitary, and is released from vesicles into the circulation in response to extracellular fluid hypertonicity (hyperosmolality). AVP has two primary functions. First, it increases the amount of solute-free water reabsorbed back into the circulation from the filtrate in the kidney tubules of the nephrons. Second, AVP constricts arterioles, which increases peripheral vascular resistance and raises arterial blood pressure.

Science

Tumor necrosis factor alpha

Tumor necrosis factor is a cell signaling protein (cytokine) involved in systemic inflammation and is one of the cytokines that make up the acute phase reaction. It is produced chiefly by activated macrophages, although it can be produced by many other cell types such as CD4+ lymphocytes, NK cells, neutrophils, mast cells, eosinophils, and neurons.

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Erythropoietin

Erythropoietin, also known as hematopoietin or hemopoietin, is a glycoprotein cytokine secreted by the kidney in response to cellular hypoxia; it stimulates red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) in the bone marrow. Low levels of EPO are constantly secreted sufficient to compensate for normal red blood cell turnover. Common causes of cellular hypoxia resulting in elevated levels of EPO include any anemia, and hypoxemia due to chronic lung disease.

Science

Prolactin

Prolactin (PRL), also known as luteotropic hormone or luteotropin, is a protein that is best known for its role in enabling mammals, usually females, to produce milk. It is influential in over 300 separate processes in various vertebrates, including humans. Prolactin is secreted from the pituitary gland in response to eating, mating, estrogen treatment, ovulation and nursing. Prolactin is secreted in pulses in between these events. Prolactin plays an essential role in metabolism, regulation of the immune system and pancreatic development.

Science

Parathyroid hormone

Parathyroid hormone (PTH), also called parathormone or parathyrin, is a hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands that is important in bone remodeling, which is an ongoing process in which bone tissue is alternately resorbed and rebuilt over time. PTH is secreted in response to low blood serum calcium (Ca2+) levels. PTH indirectly stimulates osteoclast activity within bone marrow, in an effort to release more ionic calcium (Ca2+) into the blood to elevate serum calcium (Ca2+) levels. The bones act as a (metaphorical) "bank of calcium" from which the body can make "withdrawals" as needed to keep the amount of calcium in the blood at appropriate levels despite the ever-present challenges of metabolism, stress, and nutritional variations. PTH is "a key that unlocks the bank vault" to remove the calcium. In consequence, PTH is vital to health, and health problems that yield too little or too much PTH (such as hypoparathyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, or paraneoplastic syndromes) can wreak havoc in the form of bone disease, hypocalcaemia, and hypercalcaemia.

Science

Alanine transaminase

Alanine transaminase (ALT) is a transaminase enzyme. It is also called alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) and was formerly called serum glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) or serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and was first characterized in the mid-1950s by Arthur Karmen and colleagues. ALT is found in plasma and in various body tissues, but is most common in the liver. It catalyzes the two parts of the alanine cycle. Serum ALT level, serum AST level, and their ratio are commonly measured clinically as biomarkers for liver health. The tests are part of blood panels.

Science

Glucagon

Glucagon is a peptide hormone, produced by alpha cells of the pancreas. It works to raise the concentration of glucose and fatty acids in the bloodstream, and is considered to be the main catabolic hormone of the body. It is also used as a medication to treat a number of health conditions. Its effect is opposite to that of insulin, which lowers the extracellular glucose.

Science

Insulin-like growth factor 1

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also called somatomedin C, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IGF1 gene. IGF-1 has also been referred to as a "sulfation factor" and its effects were termed "nonsuppressible insulin-like activity" (NSILA) in the 1970s.

Science

Leptin

Leptin, "the hormone of energy expenditure", is a hormone predominantly made by adipose cells that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. Leptin is opposed by the actions of the hormone ghrelin, the "hunger hormone". Both hormones act on receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores and high levels of leptin.

Science

CYP3A4

Cytochrome P450 3A4 is an important enzyme in the body, mainly found in the liver and in the intestine. It oxidizes small foreign organic molecules (xenobiotics), such as toxins or drugs, so that they can be removed from the body.

Science

Somatostatin

Somatostatin, also known as growth hormone-inhibiting hormone (GHIH) or by several other names, is a peptide hormone that regulates the endocrine system and affects neurotransmission and cell proliferation via interaction with G protein-coupled somatostatin receptors and inhibition of the release of numerous secondary hormones. Somatostatin inhibits insulin and glucagon secretion.

Science

BRCA1

BRCA1 and BRCA1 are a human gene and its protein product, respectively. The official symbol and the official name are maintained by the HGNC. Orthologs, styled Brca1 and Brca1, are common in other mammalian species. BRCA1 is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans; its protein, also called by the synonym breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein, is responsible for repairing DNA.

Science

P53

Tumor protein p53, also known as p53, cellular tumor antigen p53, phosphoprotein p53, tumor suppressor p53, antigen NY-CO-13, or transformation-related protein 53 (TRP53), is any isoform of a protein encoded by homologous genes in various organisms, such as TP53 (humans) and Trp53 (mice). This homolog is crucial in multicellular organisms, where it prevents cancer formation, thus, functions as a tumor suppressor. As such, p53 has been described as "the guardian of the genome" because of its role in conserving stability by preventing genome mutation. Hence TP53 is classified as a tumor suppressor gene.

 

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