Dissecting sites important for complement regulatory activity in membrane cofactor protein (MCP; CD46)

M. Kathryn Liszewski, Marilyn Leung, Wenying Cui, V. Bala Subramanian, John Parkinson, Paul N. Barlow, Marianne Manchester, John P. Atkinson

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114 Scopus citations


Membrane cofactor protein (MCP; CD46), a widely distributed regulator of complement activation, is a cofactor for the factor I-mediated degradation of C3b and C4b deposited on host cells. MCP possesses four extracellular, contiguous complement control protein modules (CCPs) important for this inhibitory activity. The goal of the present study was to delineate functional sites within these modules. We employed multiple approaches including mutagenesis, epitope mapping, and comparisons to primate MCP to make the following observations. First, functional sites were located to each of the four CCPs. Second, some residues were important for both C3b and C4b interactions while others were specific for one or the other. Third, while a reduction in ligand binding was invariably accompanied by a parallel reduction in cofactor activity (CA), other mutants lost or had reduced CA but retained ligand binding. Fourth, two C4b-regulatory domains overlapped measles virus interactive regions, indicating that the hemagglutinin docks to a site important for complement inhibition. Fifth, several MCP regulatory areas corresponded to functionally critical, homologous positions in other CCP-bearing C3b/C4b-binding proteins. Based on these data and the recently derived crystal structure of repeats one and two, computer modeling was employed to predict MCP structure and examine active sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37692-37701
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


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