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a group of serum alpha2-globulin glycoproteins that bind free hemoglobin; three phenotypes, with differing abilities to bind hemoglobin, are distinguished electrophoretically.


Abbreviation for haptoglobin.


A gene on chromosome 4q11-q13 that encodes alpha-fetoprotein, a major plasma protein produced by the yolk sac and the liver during foetal life. AFP is regarded as the foetal counterpart of serum albumin and binds copper, nickel, fatty acids and bilirubin; hereditary persistance of alpha-fetoprotein may be found in individuals with no obvious pathology.

Molecular pathology
AFP is elevated in foetuses with neural tube defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly. It is elevated in adults with hepatocellular carcinomas and germ cell tumours.


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haptoglobin, a serum protein that binds free hemoglobin.