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Crit Rev Immunol. 2005;25(4):305-30.

Immune function of C1q and its modulators CD91 and CD93.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter, Devon EX1 2LU, UK.


C1q is a subcomponent of the first component of complement C1, which is a multimolecular complex comprising one molecule of C1q and two molecules each of the autoreactive proteases, C1r and C1s. This multimolecular complex triggers the classical pathway of complement. Advances in the past several years have provided a partial crystal structure of the C1q subunit. This, together with gene deletion of C1q, has allowed further insight into the multifunctional immune aspects of this molecule. Two C1q-mediated functions that have received intense scrutiny recently are C1q-mediated apoptotic clearance of cell debris and phagocytosis. This has led to a heightened search for specific receptors for the collagen-like region (CLR) as well as the globular heads. Two transmembrane proteins, CD91 and CD93, have been proposed to interact indirectly with the CLR of C1q, promoting apoptotic clearance and phagocytosis, respectively. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the structural and functional information that implicates CD91 and CD93 in C1q-mediated functional effects.

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