Inhibin, beta A, also known as INHBA, is a protein which in humans is encoded by the INHBAgene. INHBA is a subunit of both activin and inhibin, two closely related glycoproteins with opposing biological effects.
The inhibin beta A subunit joins the alpha subunit to form a pituitary FSH 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.
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