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J Immunol. 2006 Mar 1;176(5):2950-7.

Evidence that complement protein C1q interacts with C-reactive protein through its globular head region.

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Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


C1q acts as the recognition unit of the first complement component, C1, and binds to immunoglobulins IgG and IgM, as well as to non-Ig ligands, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). IgG and IgM are recognized via the globular head regions of C1q (C1qGR), whereas CRP has been postulated to interact with the collagen-like region (C1qCLR). In the present study, we used a series of nine mAbs to C1q, five directed against C1qGR and four against C1qCLR, to inhibit the interaction of C1q with CRP. The F(ab')(2) of each of the five mAbs directed against C1qGR inhibited binding of C1q to polymerized IgG. These five mAbs also successfully inhibited the interaction of C1q with CRP. Moreover, these five mAbs inhibited C1 activation by CRP as well as by polymerized IgG in vitro. In contrast, none of the four mAbs against C1qCLR inhibited C1q interaction with CRP or IgG, or could reduce activation of complement by CRP or polymerized IgG. These results provide the first evidence that the interaction of C1q with CRP or IgG involves sites located in the C1qGR, whereas sites in the CLR do not seem to be involved in the physiological interaction of C1q with CRP.

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