The complement receptor type 1 (CR1; CD35), carrying 30 short consensus repeats (SCRs), has two sites. Site 1 contains SCR-1 and SCR-2 and binds C4b. Site 2 contains SCR-8 and SCR-9 and was reported to bind mainly C3b (Klickstein, L. B., Bartow, T. J., Miletic, V., Rabson, L. D., Smith, J. A., and Fearon, D. T. (1988) J. Exp. Med. 168, 1699-1717). For the functional analysis we used two constructs, each with one site. CR1-4, composed of eight and one-half initial SCRs, carries site 1, binds C4b, and is cofactor for C4b cleavage. CR1-4(8,9), obtained from CR1-4 by converting site 1 to site 2, binds iC3/C3b and, unexpectedly, C4b. It is a cofactor for cleavage of both ligands. Its cofactor activity for C4b cleavage is greater than that of site 1. Analysis of the mutants constructed by interchanging homologous peptides between the two sites identified no sequences necessary for cofactor activity other than those required for binding. In site 2, peptides important for both ligands were found. Some modifications of either site led to higher activity for both ligands. Thus the activity of complement regulators can be increased by changing a few amino acids within SCRs, an important step toward the generation of more effective inhibitors of complement activation. Knowledge of the active sites of CR1 should be applicable to other SCR-containing proteins and should provide insights into the evolution of these proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13273-13278
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 6 1994


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