National Center for
2OK5: Human Complement Factor B
Factor B structure provides insights into activation of the central protease of the complement system
Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2007) 14 p.224-228
Factor B is the central protease of the complement system of immune defense. Here, we present the crystal structure of human factor B at 2.3-A resolution, which reveals how the five-domain proenzyme is kept securely inactive. The canonical activation helix of the Von Willebrand factor A (VWA) domain is displaced by a helix from the preceding domain linker. The two helices conformationally link the scissile-activation peptide and the metal ion-dependent adhesion site required for binding of the ligand C3b. The data suggest that C3b binding displaces the three N-terminal control domains and reshuffles the two central helices. Reshuffling of the helices releases the scissile bond for final proteolytic activation and generates a new interface between the VWA domain and the serine protease domain. This allosteric mechanism is crucial for tight regulation of the complement-amplification step in the immune response.