Macromolecular complex

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Macromolecular complexes include both macrohormones and macroenzymes, which consist of hormones and enzymes respectively covalently bound to carrier molecules, e.g. immunoglobulins, or occasionally the molecule may self-polymerize. Their primary importance lies in their ability to produce an artifactually-high level of the particular hormone/enzyme in the blood as standard laboratory assays do not distinguish between the unbound and bound forms of the hormone/enzyme, e.g. in hyperamylasemia the serum amylase appears to be elevated but may actually be normal. This may lead to inappropriate investigations and therapy.

  • macro-thyroid stimulating hormone (macro-TSH)
  • macroprolactin
  • macroamylase: amylase may bind to hydroxyethyl starch 2
  • macro-mitochondrial creatine kinase: mitochondrial CK self-polymerizes 2
  • macrotrypsin: proteases may bind to alpha-2-macroglobulin 2
Share article

Article information

rID: 64093
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Macrohormone
  • Macroenzyme

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.