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J Invest Dermatol. 1988 Nov;91(5):511-6.

Decay-accelerating factor in human skin is associated with elastic fibers.

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Department of Dermatology, New York University Medical Center 10016.


Recently a complement inhibitor, decay-accelerating factor (DAF), has been found in association with uncharacterized fibers in the extracellular matrix of human dermis. Here we show by immunohistochemistry and immunoelectronmicroscopy that DAF is on the periphery of elastic fibers, and that it appears to be associated with some microfibrillar elements that cover the fibers. That DAF is a component of these microfibrils is also suggested by studies of lesional skin from anetoderma, a disease characterized by destruction of elastic fibers. In two patients we found a network of residual fine fibers in the dermis that stain with antibodies against DAF and fibrillin (one of the proteins known to be present in the microfibrils of elastin), but do not stain with antibodies to elastin. Western blot analysis of dermal extracts with monoclonal antibodies to DAF identified a 67 kDa molecule, slightly smaller than membrane DAF, and similar in size to soluble DAF found in secretions. It is possible that together with vitronectin, an inhibitor of the membrane attack complex recently identified in association with elastin, DAF prevents damage of elastic fibers by complement.

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