A1M has more or less been the life’s work of Professor Bo Åkerström of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund Universit.
Bo Åkerström
Bo Åkerström, Professor at the Division of Clinical and Experimental Infection Medicine, Lund Universit.

What woke your interest in A1M?

“I was assigned A1M as a doctoral project by my supervisor, Ingemar Berggård, way back in 1974. He had discovered a handful of new proteins by systematically examining human urine. “Find out all you can about this,” he said.

“We quickly discovered that A1M differed from other proteins in its colour – it was a strong yellowish-brown, which is unusual. Since it is present throughout the body and is produced very quickly, I felt strongly that it had to have a very important fundamental biological function.

“It has still taken 30 years of patience-testing work to figure out what role it performs in the body.”

Is there any reason to think that there are more proteins related to A1M in terms of function and/or structure?

“Yes, there is a group of 3-4 human proteins that look quite similar and could have a similar function. We are planning to look at these relatives of A1M in more detail in new research projects.”

What are the most important questions about A1M’s functions that you would like to investigate?

“We want to know exactly how the free radicals are captured. Then we might be able to improve the mechanisms or incorporate them into artificial molecules that are cheaper to manufacture. We already know that the body produces A1M in a unique way which seems a little long-winded. We want to discover why that is and use it for pharmaceutical production. We also want to test the effects of A1M on a number of diseases.”
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