Beta-2 microglobulin (urine)
β2 microglobulin also known as B2M is a component of MHC class I molecules, which are present on all nucleated cells (excludes red blood cells). In humans, the β2 microglobulin protein is encoded by the B2M gene.
β2 microglobulin lies beside the α3 chain on the cell surface. Unlike α3, β2 has no transmembrane region. Directly above β2 (that is, further away from the cell) lies the α1 chain, which itself is next to the α2.
β2 microglobulin associates not only with the alpha chain of MHC class I molecules, but also with class I-like molecules such as CD1 and Qa.
An additional function is association with the HFE protein, together regulating the expression of hepcidin in the liver which targets the iron transporter ferroportin on the cytoplasmic membrane of enterocytes and macrophages for degradation resulting in increased iron uptake from food and decreased iron release from recycled red blood cells in the MPS (mononuclear phagocyte system) respectively.
- Sample of urine
- We perform the test daily