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Tissue Antigens. 2009 Oct;74(4):298-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.2009.01328.x.

Genetic and structural analysis of MBL2 and MASP2 polymorphisms in south-eastern African children.

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  • 1International Research Center in Health of Barcelona (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic de Barcelona/IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.


The mannose-binding lectin (MBL) pathway of complement system is activated when carbohydrate-bound MBL forms complexes with different serine proteases (MASP-1, MASP-2 and MASP-3), among which MASP-2 has a predominant functional role. Polymorphisms impairing the quantity and/or the functional activity of proteins encoded by the MBL2 and MASP2 genes have been reported in all human populations showing different allelic frequency and distribution. This likely reflects the existence of environmental influences on MBL2 and MASP2 genetic evolution. Herewith, we conducted a study in a children population from Mozambique to analyse the genetic diversity of sequences corresponding to the promoter and collagen-like region (exon 1) of MBL2 and to the CUB-1 and epidermal growth factor domain (exon 3) of MASP2, which are critical regions for the formation of functional MBL/MASP-2 complexes. Our results show a high prevalence of MBL-intermediate/low genotypes (43.5%); the description of new alleles and a high level of sequence polymorphism at both MBL2 and MASP2, with no statistical evidence for positive or balancing selection. Furthermore, Biacore analyses performed to explore the functional relevance of the MASP2 variants found [T73M (2.9%), R84Q (12.7%) and P111L (25.4%)] were compared with those of two previously reported variants (R103C and D105G). None of the analysed MASP2 variants, with the exception of D105G, interfered with interactions with either MBL or ficolins (H and L).

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