Asialo-human transferrin (asialo-hTf) is a glycoform of the human serum protein transferrin characterized by the lack of the sialic acid (SA) terminal unit. It is known that glycosylation micro-heterogeneity and the presence of SA are strongly involved in protein functioning and pathophysiological activities. Some hTf glycoforms are valuable biomarkers for the detection of both genetic defects of glycosylation and/or sialoform distribution changes. The detection of the carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) glycoforms is currently a widely employed method for the diagnosis of chronic alcohol abuse. The physiological significance of asialo-hTf is still unclear, despite its important biological implications. The current knowledge suggests that asialo-hTf may be involved in regulation of iron transport and release at the hepatic level, which, consequently, could strongly be affected by alcohol consumption. For these reasons, a deeper understanding of asialo-hTf structure and its physiological role is required, and an improved method of its analysis would favor the detection of both chronic abuse and other habits of alcohol intake and/or misuse. Thus, suitable analytical methods possessing higher sensitivity and specificity in comparison with the currently available techniques are certainly recommended. The present review summarizes the studies on asialo-hTf structure, roles, and detection techniques mainly in relation to its possible use as a potentially additional useful biomarker of alcohol abuse, and underlines its prospective value as a forensic and diagnostic tool.

Asialo-transferrin: Biochemical aspects and association with alcohol abuse investigation

Paterlini V;Porpiglia NM;De Palo EF;Tagliaro F.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Asialo-human transferrin (asialo-hTf) is a glycoform of the human serum protein transferrin characterized by the lack of the sialic acid (SA) terminal unit. It is known that glycosylation micro-heterogeneity and the presence of SA are strongly involved in protein functioning and pathophysiological activities. Some hTf glycoforms are valuable biomarkers for the detection of both genetic defects of glycosylation and/or sialoform distribution changes. The detection of the carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) glycoforms is currently a widely employed method for the diagnosis of chronic alcohol abuse. The physiological significance of asialo-hTf is still unclear, despite its important biological implications. The current knowledge suggests that asialo-hTf may be involved in regulation of iron transport and release at the hepatic level, which, consequently, could strongly be affected by alcohol consumption. For these reasons, a deeper understanding of asialo-hTf structure and its physiological role is required, and an improved method of its analysis would favor the detection of both chronic abuse and other habits of alcohol intake and/or misuse. Thus, suitable analytical methods possessing higher sensitivity and specificity in comparison with the currently available techniques are certainly recommended. The present review summarizes the studies on asialo-hTf structure, roles, and detection techniques mainly in relation to its possible use as a potentially additional useful biomarker of alcohol abuse, and underlines its prospective value as a forensic and diagnostic tool.
alcohol abuse biomarker; asialo-transferrin; sialic acid; transferrin micro-heterogeneity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1010000
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