an emerging marker for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Interestingly, the human VDBP gene is a member of a multigene cluster  residing on chromosome 4 and coding for related albumin proteins (i.e., albumin, alpha-fetoprotein, and afamin
) which have structural and functional similarities .
The research team found that these biomarkers, namely afamin
, clusterin, haptoglobin and vitamin D binding protein (VDBP), change in concentration in the blood of patients with stomach cancer.
The evolutionarily close proteins of albumin superfamily are comprised of albumin (ALB), [alpha]-fetoprotein (AFP), vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP), and afamin (AFM).
The mRNA reference sequences of human serum albumin (ALB), afamin (AFM), [alpha]-fetoprotein (AFP), and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) in FASTA format were retrieved from GenBank of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/).
Wintersperger et al., "Afamin is synthesized by cerebrovascular endothelial cells and mediates a-tocopherol transport across an in vitro model of the bloodbrain barrier," Journal of Neurochemistry, vol.
Burges et al., "Afamin and apolipoprotein A-IV: novel protein markers for ovarian cancer," Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, vol.
The levels of five of these were significantly lower (afamin
, complement C3, histidine-rich glycoprotein, immunoglobulin heavy [IgH], and protein family with sequence similarity 3, member C [FAM3C]), while the levels of one, suprabasin, was significantly higher in patients with FECD compared to controls (P [less than or equal to] 0.01).
Group-specific component globulin (Gc-globulin)  also known as vitamin D-binding protein, is a multifunctional plasma protein with a relative molecular mass ([M.sub.r]) of 51000-58 000 and belongs to the albumin superfamily of binding proteins, which includes Gc-globulin, albumin, [alpha]-fetoprotein, and afamin (1).
Together with the genes that encode albumin, [alpha]-fetoprotein, and the tocopherol-binding protein afamin, the Gc-globulin gene is located on chromosome 4, sublocalized to bands 4q11-q13.