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J Clin Invest. 1982 Oct;70(4):906-13.

Complement biosynthesis by the human hepatoma-derived cell line HepG2.


The human hepatoma-derived cell line, HepG2, synthesized and secreted functional complement proteins C1r, C1s, C2, C3, C4, C5, factor B, C1 inhibitor, C3b inactivator, a small amount of C6, and trace amounts of C8; but failed to produce detectable C1q, C7, or C9. Immunochemically, C2, C3, C4, C5, and B were isolated from culture medium as proteins with molecular sizes and subunit structures identical to the corresponding components isolated from serum. C2 and factor B from cellular lysates had slightly lower molecular weights than the corresponding proteins in culture medium. C3, C4, and C5 were detected as single chain precursor molecules in cellular lysates. These results demonstrate that human C5, like C3 and C4, is synthesized as a single chain precursor that is converted by limited proteolysis to the native two-chain molecule. It also establishes the precursor-product relationship for human pro-C4 and native C4, pro-C5, and native C5.

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