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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jul 5;267(19):13675-80.

The human complement regulatory protein CD59 binds to the alpha-chain of C8 and to the "b"domain of C9.

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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City 73104.


The erythrocyte membrane inhibitor of the human terminal complement proteins, surface antigen CD59, has previously been shown to enter into a detergent-resistant complex with either the membrane-bound complex of C5b-8 or C5b-9 (Meri, S., Morgan, B. P., Davies, A., Daniels, R. H., Olavesen, M. G., Waldmann, H. and Lachmann, P. J. (1990) Immunology 71, 1-9; Rollins, S. A., Zhao, J., Ninomiya, H., and Sims, P. J. (1991) J. Immunol, 146, 2345-2351). In order to further define the interactions that underlie the complement-inhibitory function of CD59, we have examined the binding interactions between 125I-CD59 and the isolated components of human complement membrane attack complex, C5b6, C7, C8, and C9. By density gradient analysis, we were unable to detect interaction of 125I-CD59 with any of these isolated complement components in solution. Specific binding of 125I-CD59 to C8 and C9 was detected when these human complement proteins were adsorbed to either plastic or to nitrocellulose, suggesting that a conformational change that accompanies surface adsorption exposes a CD59-binding site that is normally buried in these serum proteins. The binding of 125I-CD59 to plastic-adsorbed C8 and C9 was saturable and competed by excess unlabeled CD59, with half-maximal binding observed at 125I-CD59 concentrations of 80 and 36 nM, respectively. No specific binding of 125I-CD59 was detected for surface-adsorbed human C5b6 or C7 nor was such binding observed for C8 or C9 isolated from rabbit serum. Binding of CD59 to human C8 and C9 was not mediated by the phospholipid moiety of CD59, implying association by protein-protein interaction. In order to further define the binding sites for CD59, ligand blotting with 125I-CD59 was performed after separation of C8 into its noncovalently associated subunits (C8 alpha-gamma and C8 beta) and after alpha-thrombin digestion of C9. These experiments revealed specific and saturable binding of 125I-CD59 to C8 alpha-gamma subunit (half-maximal binding at 75 nM), but not to C8 beta, and specific and saturable binding to the 37-kDa fragment (C9b) of thrombin-cleaved C9 (half-maximal binding at 35 nM), but not to the 25-kDa C9a fragment. Partial reduction of C8 alpha-gamma revealed that only C8 alpha polypeptide exhibited affinity for CD59, and no specific binding to the C8 gamma chain was detected.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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