alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency

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alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency

A disorder caused most frequently by a mutation in the SERPINA 1 gene, causing the Z-allele with a substitution of lysine for glutamic acid at position 342. Alpha 1-antitrypsin is mainly produced in the liver and is protective against the proteolytic enzyme neutrophil elastase that can damage the air sacs in the lungs and the cells of the liver. People with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency are more prone than normal to EMPHYSEMA and to certain forms of liver disease. It is responsible for 25 per cent of deaths from juvenile liver cirrhosis. A strong case has been made that this was the disease from which the composer Frédéric Chopin died.
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