Protein in the serum is made up of albumin (∼ 60%) and globulin. Together with albumin, globulin forms the total protein level on a blood test lab report. It includes carrier proteins, enzymes, clotting factors, and, predominantly, antibodies.
Globulin is categorized into three main groups:
- alpha globulins
- beta globulins
- gamma globulins
While alpha globulins and beta globulins are primarily transport proteins, gamma globulins are mainly comprised of immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies.
The major carrier beta globulins are Transferrin and Sex hormone-binding globulin.
Beta globulin has a target range of 0.7 – 1.3 g/dL.
Increased Beta Globulins:
- Hypercholesterolemia (which can occur by itself or in association with biliary cirrhosis, hypothyroidism, or nephrosis): Beta lipoprotein is a beta globulin and is increased in hypercholesterolemia.
- Iron-deficiency anemia: Transferrin is a beta globulin and is increased in this form of anemia.
- Estrogen therapy: Estrogen causes increased production of these proteins.
Decreased Beta Globulins:
- Malnutrition: Transferrin is a beta globulin and is decreased in malnutrition.
- Consumptive coagulopathy: Several proteins used in the coagulation process are beta globulins. They are consumed in disorders of unrestricted coagulation.
Serum Albumin and Globulin, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK204/
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