α1-Antitrypsin belongs to the α1-globulin family and functions as an inhibitor of a broad spectrum of serine proteases such as trypsin, plasmin, and thrombin. It is produced in the liver and serves to protect the body's tissues from being damaged by agents released by the immune system during infection. α1-Antitrypsin is an acute phase protein with normal serum levels of 2-4mg/ml. Elevated levels are seen after surgery, during acute inflammatory episodes, in cancer, and during pregnancy. In addition, individuals afflicted with the congenital disease α1-antitrypsin deficiency are predisposed to pulmonary emphysema and liver disease.