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Mol Immunol. 2002 Nov;39(7-8):465-73.

Evaluation and clinical interest of mannan binding lectin function in human plasma.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Immunologie, Hôpital Sud, Université Joseph Fourier JE2236, Avenue de Kimberley, 38130 Echirolles, France.


The mannan binding lectin (MBL) plays a major role in innate immunity through its ability to activate complement upon binding to carbohydrate arrays on the surface of various microorganisms. The question of a possible association of the MBL structural gene polymorphism and the oligomeric state of MBL was poorly documented. For these reasons, it appears difficult to evaluate MBL in blood patients on the only basis of protein contents, even in combination with MBL genotyping. This study reports a method to calculate a specific activity for circulating MBL, that relies on: (i) the availability of purified MBL; and (ii) a simplified MBL activity assay based on complement activation. The three-step MBL purification from human plasma reported here is characterized by a highly purified MBL, that occurs in two different oligomeric forms. The results on the specific activity of these forms show that the higher oligomeric forms of MBL have the ability to induce C4 cleavage more efficiently than the corresponding lower oligomers. The usefulness of this approach is illustrated by its potential interest in the biological exploration of certain pathology, for example in the follow-up of chronic hepatitis C. Further investigation is needed to establish whether MBL specific activity (MBLsa) is correlated to the polymorphic state of the molecule. The relative simplicity of the test described here allows better investigation on the relationship between MBL biological activity and its genotype.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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