Isolation and characterization of a novel plasma protein which binds to activated C4 of the classical complement pathway.
We report here the isolation and partial characterization of a previously unrecognized protease-sensitive plasma protein identified during the development of a novel protocol for the purification of the second component of human complement (C2). This new protein is physicochemically similar to C2. It coprecipitates with C2 on polyethylene glycol fractionation and specifically binds, like C2, to Sepharose-bound iC4/C4b. Binding occurs both in the presence and absence of C2. The purified protein has a chain structure similar to C2 as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis in the presence or absence of reducing agent and has a molecular mass of 120 kDa, only somewhat greater than C2 at 95 kDa. Both proteins radioiodinate under similar conditions to the same specific activities with each of two different methods that yield 10-fold disparate results. Quantitative Mancini analysis identifies 300 micrograms/ml of the 120-kDa protein in plasma and serum. The protein is present at normal concentrations in serum from individuals genetically deficient in C2, has no C2 functional activity, and is not cleaved as is C2 when serum complement is activated. Potent monospecific polyclonal anti-serum to each do not cross-immunoprecipitate using standard gel techniques. However, these anti-sera identify epitopes in common by Western blotting. The data presented indicate that the 120-kDa protein is a distinct plasma component and suggest that the protein is not an "immature" form of C2. Initial experiments to delineate a functional role for the 120-kDa protein have demonstrated a consistent inhibition of C1 site generation on EAC4b which is dose-dependent and reversible. Thus, this protein appears to be a new complement regulatory factor.
Hammer, CH; Jacobs, RM; Frank, MM
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