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Definition of «Serum amyloid A»

Serum amyloid A: A superfamily of acute-phase proteins. The level of serum amyloid A (SAA) in the blood increases dramatically in response to tissue injury and inflammation. SAA also acts as a cytokine, influencing cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and aggregation.

The members of the SAA superfamily are designated SAA1, SAA2, SAA3,and SAA4. The gene for the SAA superfamily is on chromosome 11p15.1. SAA1 and SAA2 have 90% nucleotide identity while SAA3 shows 70% identity with SAA1 and SAA2. The gene order on 11p15.1 is cen--SAA1--SAA2--SAA4--SAA3--pter where cen = the centromere and pter = the end of the short arm of chromosome 11.

Serum amyloid A is so-named because it is related to the A proteins of secondary amyloidosis. See also: Acute-phase protein.

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