The extracellular domain of the complement receptor type 1 (CR1; CD35) consists entirely of 30 complement control protein repeats (CCPs). CR1 has two distinct functional sites, site 1 (CCPs 1-3) and two copies of site 2 (CCPs 8-10 and CCPs 15-17). In this report we further define the structural requirements for decay-accelerating activity (DAA) for the classical pathway (CP) C3 and C5 convertases and, using these results, generate more potent decay accelerators. Previously, we demonstrated that both sites 1 and 2, tandemly arranged, are required for efficient DAA for C5 convertases. We show that site 1 dissociates the CP C5 convertase, whereas the role of site 2 is to bind the C3b subunit. The intervening CCPs between two functional sites are required for optimal DAA, suggesting that a spatial orientation of the two sites is important. DAA for the CP C3 convertase is increased synergisticaly if two copies of site 1, particularly those carrying DAA-increasing mutations, are contained within one protein. DAA in such constructs may exceed that of long homologous repeat A (CCPs 1-7) by up to 58-fold. To explain this synergy, we propose a dimeric structure for the CP C3 convertase on cell surfaces. We also extended our previous studies of the amino acid requirements for DAA of site 1 and found that the CCP 1/CCP 2 junction is critical and that Phe82 may contact the C3 convertases. These observations increase our understanding of the mechanism of DAA. In addition, a more potent decay-accelerating form of CR1 was generated.