World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Complement control protein

Article Id: WHEBN0009411116
Reproduction Date:

Title: Complement control protein  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Complement system, Proteins
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Complement control protein

The complement system distinguishes "self" from "non-self" via a range of specialized cell-surface and soluble proteins. These homologous proteins belong to a family called the "regulators of complement activation (RCA)" or "complement control proteins (CCP)". Complement control proteins work in concert to regulate the system and keep it from damaging host tissue while simultaneously directing it towards foreign particles such as viruses and bacteria, and unwanted material such as cell debris and antibody-antigen complexes.

Most of the complement control proteins act on the convertases, C3b.Bb and C4b.2a, which are bimolecular complexes formed early on in the complement cascade.


  • Members 1
  • Mechanisms of protection 2
  • Structure 3
  • Clinical significance 4
  • Sources 5
  • External links 6


The best-studied members of this family are:

Other soluble complement regulators that do not belong to the RCA/CCP family are Complement Factor I and C1 inhibitor.

Mechanisms of protection

Every cell in the human body is protected by one or more of the membrane-associated RCA proteins, CR1, DAF or MCP. Factor H and C4BP circulate in the plasma and are recruited to self-surfaces through binding to host-specific polysaccharides such as the glycosaminoglycans. All act to disrupt the formation of the convertases or to shorten the life-span of any complexes that do manage to form. Their presence on self-surfaces, and their absence from the surfaces of foreign particles, means that these regulators perform the important task of targeting complement to where it is needed - on the invading bacterium for example - while preventing activation on host tissues.

For example, C3b.Bb is an important convertase that is part of the alternative pathway, and it is formed when factor B binds C3b and is subsequently cleaved. To prevent this from happening, factor H competes with factor B to bind C3b; if it manages to bind, then the convertase is not formed. Factor H can bind C3b much more easily in the presence of sialic acid, which is a component of most cells in the human body; conversely, in the absence of sialic acid, factor B can bind C3b more easily. This means that if C3b is bound to a "self" cell, the presence of sialic acid and the binding of factor H will prevent the complement cascade from activating; if C3b is bound to a bacterium, factor B will bind and the cascade will be set off as normal.


RCA proteins typically possess CCP domains, also termed Sushi domains or Short Consensus Repeats (SCR). Such beta-sandwich domains contain about 60 amino acid residues, each with 4 conserved cysteines arranged in two conserved disulfide bonds (oxidized in 'abab' manner), and a conserved tryptophan, but otherwise can vary greatly in sequence.

The first CCP structure determined was a solution structure of the 16th module of factor H (pdb:1hcc).[1] Since then, other CCP domains have been solved either by NMR-spectroscopy (also relaxation studies, e.g. module 2 and 3 from CD55 (pdb:1nwv))[2] or by X-ray diffraction (also with co-crystallized partner, e.g. CR2 CCP modules complexed with C3d (pdb:1ghq)).[3]

Clinical significance

The importance of complement regulation for good health is highlighted by recent work that seems to imply that individuals carrying point mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms in their genes for factor H may be more susceptible to diseases including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome,[4] dense deposit diseases (or membranoproliferative glomrulonephritis type 2) and - most notably because of its prevalence in the elderly - age-related macular degeneration.[5] Transgenic pigs that express complement regulation factors may one day be useful for xenotransplantation.


  1. ^ Norman, D.G., Barlow, P.N., Baron, M., Day, A.J., Sim, R.B., Campbell, I.D. Three-dimensional structure of a complement control protein module in solution. J Mol Biol 219(4):717-725.(1991)
  2. ^ UhrĂ­nova, S., Lin, F., Ball, G., Bromek, K., Uhrin, D., Medof, M.E., Barlow, P.N. Solution structure of a functionally active fragment of decay-accelerating factor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100(8):4718-4723.(2003)
  3. ^ Szakonyi, G., Guthridge, J.M., Li, D., Young, K., Holers, V.M., Chen, X.S. Structure of complement receptor 2 in complex with its C3d ligand. Science 292(5522):1725-1728.(2001)
  4. ^ Buddles, M.R., Donne, R.L., Richards, A., Goodship, J. & Goodship, T.H. Complement factor H gene mutation associated with autosomal recessive atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Am J Hum Genet 66, 1721-1722 (2000).
  5. ^ Hageman, G.S. et al. A common haplotype in the complement regulatory gene factor H (HF1/CFH) predisposes individuals to age-related macular degeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102, 7227-7232 (2005).

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.