Thymosin α1

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2l9i thymosin alpha-1.png
Available structures
PDBHuman UniProt search: PDBe RCSB
AliasesPTMA, prothymosin, alpha, TMSA, prothymosin alpha
External IDsHomoloGene: 136511 GeneCards: PTMA
Gene location (Human)
Chromosome 2 (human)
Chr.Chromosome 2 (human)[1]
Chromosome 2 (human)
Genomic location for PTMA
Genomic location for PTMA
Band2q37.1Start231,706,895 bp[1]
End231,713,541 bp[1]
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC)Chr 2: 231.71 – 231.71 Mbn/a
PubMed search[2]n/a
View/Edit Human

Thymosin α1 is a peptide fragment derived from prothymosin alpha, a protein that in humans is encoded by the PTMA gene.[3]

It was the first of the peptides from Thymosin Fraction 5 to be completely sequenced and synthesized. Unlike β thymosins, to which it is genetically and chemically unrelated, thymosin α1 is produced as a 28-amino acid fragment, from a longer, 113-amino acid precursor, prothymosin α.[4]


Thymosin α1 is believed to be a major component of Thymosin Fraction 5 responsible for the activity of that preparation in restoring immune function in animals lacking thymus glands. It has been found to enhance cell-mediated immunity in humans as well as experimental animals.[5]

Therapeutic application[edit]

As of 2009 Thymosin α1 is approved in 35 under-developed or developing countries for the treatment of Hepatitis B and C, and it is also used to boost the immune response in the treatment of other diseases.[6][7]

Clinical studies[edit]

Clinical trials suggest it may be useful in septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, peritonitis, acute cytomegalovirus infection, TB, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and lung infections in critically ill patients.,[7] and for chronic hepatitis B.[8]

It has been studied for possible use in treating cancer (eg with chemotherapy).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000187514 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:". 
  3. ^ Manrow RE, Leone A, Krug MS, Eschenfeldt WH, Berger SL (Jul 1992). "The human prothymosin alpha gene family contains several processed pseudogenes lacking deleterious lesions". Genomics. 13 (2): 319–31. doi:10.1016/0888-7543(92)90248-Q. PMID 1612591. 
  4. ^ Garaci E (September 2007). "Thymosin alpha1: a historical overview". Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1112: 14–20. doi:10.1196/annals.1415.039. PMID 17567941. 
  5. ^ Wara DW, Goldstein AL, Doyle NE, Ammann AJ (January 1975). "Thymosin activity in patients with cellular immunodeficiency". N. Engl. J. Med. 292 (2): 70–4. doi:10.1056/NEJM197501092920204. PMID 1078552. 
  6. ^ Garaci E, Favalli C, Pica F, et al. (September 2007). "Thymosin alpha 1: from bench to bedside". Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1112: 225–34. doi:10.1196/annals.1415.044. PMID 17600290. 
  7. ^ a b Goldstein AL, Goldstein AL (May 2009). "From lab to bedside: emerging clinical applications of thymosin alpha 1". Expert Opin Biol Ther. 9 (5): 593–608. doi:10.1517/14712590902911412. PMID 19392576. 
  8. ^ Wu X, Jia J, You H (2015). "Thymosin alpha-1 treatment in chronic hepatitis B". Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy. 15: 129–132. doi:10.1517/14712598.2015.1007948. 
  9. ^ Garaci E, Pica F, Rasi G, Favalli C (2000). "Thymosin alpha 1 in the treatment of cancer: from basic research to clinical application". Int J Immunopharmacol. 22: 1067–76. PMID 11137613. 

Further reading[edit]