Letter | Published:

Occurrence of a Specific Foetal Protein in a Primary Liver Carcinoma

Naturevolume 212page414 (1966) | Download Citation



A PARTICULAR protein component has been demonstrated in the blood serum of human foetuses and has been localized between albumin and alpha1-globulin by paper electrophoresis1,2. Using immunoelectrophoresis, with a specific rabbit serum immune against human foetal serum proteins, de Muralt and Roulet3 and one of us (J. M.)4 found a specific precipitation line in the immunoelectrophoresis pattern of human foetal serum corresponding to an alpha1-globulin. According to de Muralt and Roulet3, this specific foetal alpha1-globulin disappears from the serum of foetuses after the twentieth week of intrauterine life. But it has been possible to demonstrate the presence of this protein in the serum of older foetuses, and in the cord blood serum as well as in that of newborns in the first week after birth5. These findings probably confirm the existence of a protein which is characteristic of the foetal period in man and which is called “foetoprotein”3,4. This protein has not yet been found in the serum of normal individuals later than the first two weeks of postnatal life.

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  1. 1

    Bergstrand, C. G., and Czar, B., Scand. J. Clin. Lab. Invest., 8, 174 (1956).

  2. 2

    Halbrecht, J., and Klibanski, C., Nature, 178, 794 (1956).

  3. 3

    de Muralt, G., and Roulet, L. D. A., Helv. Paediat. Acta, 16, 517 (1961).

  4. 4

    Masopust, J., Rev. Czech. Med., 8, 214 (1962).

  5. 5

    Masopust, J., and Kotál, L., Ann. Paediat., 204, 138 (1965).

  6. 6

    Tatarinov, Y. S., Vopr. Med. Chimii, 10, 90 (1964).

  7. 7

    Tatarinov, Y. S., Vopr. Med. Chimii, 11, 20 (1965).

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  1. Research Institute of Child Development, Faculty of Paediatrics, Charles University, Prague

    • K. KITHIER
    • , J. HOUŠTĚK
    • , J. MASOPUST
    •  & J. RÁDL


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