Inhibin, beta A, also known as INHBA, is a protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 which in humans is encoded by the INHBA gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...

. INHBA is a subunit of both activin and inhibin
Activin and inhibin
Activin and inhibin are two closely related protein complexes that have almost directly opposite biological effects. Activin enhances FSH biosynthesis and secretion, and participates in the regulation of the menstrual cycle...

, two closely related glycoproteins with opposing biological effects.


The inhibin beta A subunit joins the alpha subunit to form a pituitary FSH
Follicle-stimulating hormone
Follicle-stimulating hormone is a hormone found in humans and other animals. It is synthesized and secreted by gonadotrophs of the anterior pituitary gland. FSH regulates the development, growth, pubertal maturation, and reproductive processes of the body. FSH and Luteinizing hormone act...

secretion inhibitor. Inhibin has been shown to regulate gonadal stromal cell proliferation negatively and to have tumor-suppressor activity. In addition, serum levels of inhibin have been shown to reflect the size of granulosa-cell tumors and can therefore be used as a marker for primary as well as recurrent disease. Because expression in gonadal and various extragonadal tissues may vary severalfold in a tissue-specific fashion, it is proposed that inhibin may be both a growth/differentiation factor and a hormone. Furthermore, the beta A subunit forms a homodimer, activin A, and also joins with a beta B subunit to form a heterodimer, activin AB, both of which stimulate FSH secretion. Finally, it has been shown that the beta A subunit mRNA is identical to the erythroid differentiation factor subunit mRNA and that only one gene for this mRNA exists in the human genome.

Further reading

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