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Kidney Int. 2006 Jul;70(1):42-50. Epub 2006 Apr 12.

Deletion of Lys224 in regulatory domain 4 of Factor H reveals a novel pathomechanism for dense deposit disease (MPGN II).

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Children's Hospital of the University of Cologne, Pediatric Nephrology, Cologne, Germany.


We report a novel pathomechanism for membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (MPGN II) caused by a mutant Factor H protein expressed in the plasma. Genetic analyses of two patients revealed deletion of a single Lys residue (K224) located within the complement regulatory region in domain 4 of Factor H. This deletion resulted in defective complement control: mutant protein purified from the plasma of patients showed severely reduced cofactor and decay-accelerating activity, as well as reduced binding to the central complement component C3b. However, cell-binding activity of the mutant protein was normal and comparable to wild-type Factor H. The patients are daughters of consanguineous parents. As both patients but also their healthy mother were positive for C3 nephritic factor, the mutant Factor H protein is considered relevant for unrestricted activation of the disease-causing activation of the alternative complement pathway. Replacement of functional Factor H by fresh frozen plasma (10-15 ml/kg/14 days) was well tolerated, prevented so far disease progression in both patients, and is in the long run expected to preserve kidney function.

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