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J Immunol. 2000 Mar 1;164(5):2281-4.

Cutting edge: complement-activating complex of ficolin and mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease.

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Department of Biochemistry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan.


Both ficolins and mannose-binding lectin (MBL) are lectins characterized by the presence of collagen-like and carbohydrate-binding domains in a subunit, although their carbohydrate-binding moieties are quite different. A fibrinogen-like domain is in ficolins, and a carbohydrate recognition domain is in MBL. On binding to pathogens, human MBL activates the complement system via the lectin pathway in association with two types of MBL-associated serine proteases (MASP), MASP-1 and MASP-2 and its truncated form, small MBL-associated protein (sMAP, also called MAp19). We report here that ficolin/P35, a human serum ficolin, was found to copurify with MASPs and sMAP. MASPs that were complexed with ficolin/P35 exhibited proteolytic activities against complement components C4, C2, and C3. The ficolin/P35-MASPs-sMAP complex that was bound to Salmonella typhimurium activated complement. These findings indicate that ficolin/P35 is a second collagenous lectin capable of activating the lectin pathway and thus plays a role in innate immunity.

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