Native - Human Neutrophils
NGAL, a 23kDa glycosylated dimer, is a member of the lipocalin family of exracellular proteins that play a role in the transport of small hydrophobic molecules. NGAL binds bacterially produced formyl peptides and can form complexes with the MMP-9 proenzyme form. It is found to be secreted into urine by the ascending limb of the loop of Henle, which more than likely plays a role in host defence and recycling of iron complexes by endocytosis.
NGAL is thought to also be a pivotal early biomarker for the diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI). AKI is a common complication and prognostic factor in the longterm outcome of patients undergoing liver transplantation. Creatinine has been a mainstay in the diagnosis of renal injury but it cannot distinguish between AKI, prerenal azotemia and chronic renal disease. The accumulation of creatinine can also lag behind the injury with delays diagnosis.
NGAL is found to increase with renal injury earlier than creatinine, with patient urine levels increasing significantly.
Acute renal injury
Various types of cancer
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