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Mol Immunol. 2007 Sep;44(16):3875-88.

Complement activating soluble pattern recognition molecules with collagen-like regions, mannan-binding lectin, ficolins and associated proteins.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Wilhelms Meyers Allé, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), L-ficolin, M-ficolin and H-ficolin are all complement activating soluble pattern recognition molecules with recognition domains linked to collagen-like regions. All four may form complexes with four structurally related proteins, the three MBL-associated serine proteases (MASPs), MASP-1, MASP-2 and MASP-3, and a smaller MBL-associated protein (MAp19). The four recognition molecules recognize patterns of carbohydrate or acetyl-group containing ligands. After binding to the relevant targets all four are able to activate the complement system. We thus have a system where four different and/or overlapping patterns of microbial origin or patterns of altered-self may be recognized, but in all cases the signalling molecules, the MASPs, are shared. MASP-1 and MASP-3 are formed from one gene, MASP1/3, by alternative splicing generating two different mRNAs from a single primary transcript. Similarly MASP-2 and MAp19 are both generated from one gene, MASP-2/MAp19, by alternative splicing. A number of non-synonymous polymorphisms of the four recognition molecules and of the MASPs are known, and the implications of these alterations are being studied. The clinical impact of deficiencies will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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