C3b generation is affected by the structure of the O-antigen polysaccharide in lipopolysaccharide from salmonellae.
Salmonellae differing in the O-antigen side chain of their lipopolysaccharide were previously shown to activate the alternative pathway of complement to different extents. We now examine the generation of the major cleavage fragment of the complement component C3 (C3b) on these bacteria in a system that contains the purified components C3, B, D, and P but lacks the regulatory proteins H and I. The deposition of C3b in this system reproduces the same pattern obtained earlier with the use of whole serum, with the expected differences among the strains bearing different O-antigen. However, two distinct mechanisms for these differences in C3b generation became apparent. The intermediate activating strain showed 3 to 4 times less initial deposition of C3b than the other two strains. In contrast, the least activating strain showed adequate initial deposition but poor amplification, as shown by 2 to 3.4 lower amplification indexes as compared with those on the other two strains. Binding studies with factor B showed that decreased C3 convertase formation was responsible for the low amplification on this strain. Only 25% of the C3b bound to its surface was able to bind factor B with a high affinity, in comparison with 90% on the other two strains. No differences were found for the binding of factor H among the strains. These studies identify the molecular mechanisms by which these bacteria avoid complement activation.
Jimenez-Lucho, VE; Joiner, KA; Foulds, J; Frank, MM; Leive, L
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