Membrane cofactor protein (MCP; CD46), a ubiquitously expressed complement regulatory protein, serves as a cofactor for serine protease factor I to cleave and inactivate C3b and C4b deposited on host cells. However, CD46 also plays roles in human reproduction, autophagy, modulating T cell activation and effector functions and is a member of the newly identified intracellular complement system (complosome). CD46 also is a receptor for 11 pathogens (‘pathogen magnet’). While CD46 deficiencies contribute to inflammatory disorders, its overexpression in cancers and role as a receptor for some adenoviruses has led to its targeting by oncolytic agents and adenoviral-based therapeutic vectors, including coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. This review focuses on recent advances in identifying disease-causing CD46 variants and its pathogen connections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
StatePublished - Oct 2021


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