Haemopexin(hemopexin) is a plasma protein with strong affinity for haem. Like haptoglobin, it acts to scavenge free haem groups in the blood, preventing possible oxidative damage. The haem-haemopexin complex is delivered to the liver where the haem is safely metabolised. Plasma levels can drop when haptoglobin system is depleted. In the brain there is evidence that it may act as an oligodendrocyte differentiation factor. It is an inflammatory marker whose concentration in various body fluids may reflect particular diseases. The HPX gene at 11p15.5-p15.4 codes for a 462 amino acid peptide which is N- and O-glycosylated to form fully functional haemopexin. Polymorphism has been described in some racial groups, but not others. Matrix metalloproteinases usually contain active haemoplexin like domains.
- ↑ Verrills NM, Irwin JA, He XY, Wood LG, Powell H, Simpson JL, McDonald VM, Sim A, Gibson PG. Identification of novel diagnostic biomarkers for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 2011 Jun 15; 183(12):1633-43.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)