A superfamily of extracellular proteins (18–20 kDa) that bind lipophilic molecules, such as retinol, porphyrins, and odorants, by enclosure within their structures, minimizing solvent contact. Examples include retinol-binding protein, β-lactoglobulin, and orosomucoid. A number of lipocalin isoforms are found in tears and lipocalins have been found in many tissues. Neutrophil-gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL, lipocalin-2) has been used as a biomarker in the detection of acute renal failure in children after cardiac surgery.
Subjects: Chemistry — Medicine and Health.