Factor I co-factor activity of CR1 overcomes the protective effect of IgG on covalently bound C3b residues.
We have shown previously that C3b resides in a protected site when it is covalently bound to IgG (C3b-IgG). Such C3b displays a reduced affinity for factor H, with consequent enhanced survival in the presence of factors H and I and increased capacity for promoting alternative pathway consumption of C3. Because erythrocyte CR1 may be a major co-factor for factor I-mediated inactivation of immune complex-borne C3b in blood, we have examined the effect of covalently bound IgG on the C3b-CR1 interaction. Binding of monomeric C3b and C3b-IgG to human erythrocyte CR1 demonstrates identical ionic strength dependence for both species. Identical numbers of binding sites with indistinguishable affinities are detected by both ligands. Cleavage of the alpha'-chain of C3b and the alpha'-heavy chain of C3b-IgG proceeds at the same rate when erythrocyte CR1 serves as co-factor for factor I. Unlike factor H, CR1 supports a second cleavage of fluid-phase iC3b alpha'1 chain (free or bound to IgG) that generates C3c and a 33,000 m.w. fragment, which bears antigenic markers characteristic of C3g. Inactivation of C3b and C3b-IgG by CR1 and factor I also occurs at physiologic ionic strength, but proceeds very slowly relative to rates attainable with sub-physiologic inputs of factor H. CR1 does not recognize IgG-bound C3b as being in a protected site but, because of low binding affinity at physiologic ionic strength, is probably highly dependent on multivalent ligand-receptor interactions to efficiently exert its co-factor functions. Thus, inactivation of C3b-IgG heterodimers or small immune complexes bearing limited numbers of C3b residues may remain largely factor H-dependent in vivo, with resultant enhanced C3b survival.
Fries, LF; Prince, GM; Gaither, TA; Frank, MM
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