Functional basis of protection against age-related macular degeneration conferred by a common polymorphism in complement factor B.
ABSTRACT: Mutations and polymorphisms in complement genes have been linked with numerous rare and prevalent disorders, implicating dysregulation of complement in pathogenesis. The 3 common alleles of factor B (fB) encode Arg (fB(32R)), Gln (fB(32Q)), or Trp (fB(32W)) at position 32 in the Ba domain. The fB(32Q) allele is protective for age-related macular degeneration, the commonest cause of blindness in developed countries. Factor B variants were purified from plasma of homozygous individuals and were tested in hemolysis assays. The protective variant fB(32Q) had decreased activity compared with fB(32R). Biacore comparison revealed markedly different proenzyme formation; fB(32R) bound C3b with 4-fold higher affinity, and formation of activated convertase was enhanced. Binding and functional differences were confirmed with recombinant fB(32R) and fB(32Q); an intermediate affinity was revealed for fB(32W). To confirm contribution of Ba to binding, affinity of Ba for C3b was determined. Ba-fB(32R) had 3-fold higher affinity compared with Ba-fB(32Q). We demonstrate that the disease-protective effect of fB(32Q) is consequent on decreased potential to form convertase and amplify complement activation. Knowledge of the functional consequences of polymorphisms in complement activators and regulators will aid disease prediction and inform targeting of diagnostics and therapeutics.
Project description:Common polymorphisms in complement alternative pathway (AP) proteins C3 (C3(R102G)), factor B (fB(R32Q)), and factor H (fH(V62I)) are associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other pathologies. Our published work showed that fB(R32Q) influences C3 convertase formation, whereas fH(V62I) affects factor I cofactor activity. Here we show how C3(R102G) (C3S/F) influences AP activity. In hemolysis assays, C3(102G) activated AP more efficiently (EC(50) C3(102G): 157 nM; C3(102R): 191 nM; P < 0.0001). fB binding kinetics and convertase stability were identical, but native and recombinant fH bound more strongly to C3b(102R) (K(D) C3b(102R): 1.0 μM; C3b(102G): 1.4 μM; P < 0.0001). Accelerated decay was unaltered, but fH cofactor activity was reduced for C3b(102G), favoring AP amplification. Combining disease "risk" variants (C3(102G), fB(32R), and fH(62V)) in add-back assays yielded sixfold higher hemolytic activity compared with "protective" variants (C3(102R), fB(32Q), and fH(62I); P < 0.0001). These data introduce the concept of a functional complotype (combination of polymorphisms) defining complement activity in an individual, thereby influencing susceptibility to AP-driven disease.
Project description:Generation of the alternative pathway C3-convertase, the central amplification enzyme of the complement cascade, initiates by the binding of factor B (fB) to C3b to form the proconvertase, C3bB. C3bB is subsequently cleaved by factor D (fD) at a single site in fB, producing Ba and Bb fragments. Ba dissociates from the complex, while Bb remains bound to C3b, forming the active alternative pathway convertase, C3bBb. Using single-particle electron microscopy we have determined the 3-dimensional structures of the C3bB and the C3bBb complexes at approximately 27A resolution. The C3bB structure shows that fB undergoes a dramatic conformational change upon binding to C3b. However, the C3b-bound fB structure was easily interpreted after independently fitting the atomic structures of the isolated Bb and Ba fragments. Interestingly, the divalent cation-binding site in the von Willebrand type A domain in Bb faces the C345C domain of C3b, whereas the serine-protease domain of Bb points outwards. The structure also shows that the Ba fragment interacts with C3b separately from Bb at the level of the alpha'NT and CUB domains. Within this conformation, the long and flexible linker between Bb and Ba is likely exposed and accessible for cleavage by fD to form the active convertase, C3bBb. The architecture of the C3bB and C3bBb complexes reveals that C3b could promote cleavage and activation of fB by actively displacing the Ba domain from the von Willebrand type A domain in free fB. These structures provide a structural basis to understand fundamental aspects of the activation and regulation of the alternative pathway C3-convertase.
Project description:Immune protection by the complement system critically depends on assembly of C3 convertases on the surface of pathogens and altered host cells. These short-lived protease complexes are formed through pro-convertases, which for the alternative pathway consist of the complement component C3b and the pro-enzyme factor B (FB). Here, we present the crystal structure at 2.2-A resolution, small-angle X-ray scattering and electron microscopy (EM) data of the pro-convertase formed by human FB and cobra venom factor (CVF), a potent homologue of C3b that generates more stable convertases. FB is loaded onto CVF through its pro-peptide Ba segment by specific contacts, which explain the specificity for the homologous C3b over the native C3 and inactive products iC3b and C3c. The protease segment Bb binds the carboxy terminus of CVF through the metal-ion dependent adhesion site of the Von Willebrand factor A-type domain. A possible dynamic equilibrium between a 'loading' and 'activation' state of the pro-convertase may explain the observed difference between the crystal structure of CVFB and the EM structure of C3bB. These insights into formation of convertases provide a basis for further development of complement therapeutics.
Project description:In C3 glomerulopathy (C3G), the alternative pathway of complement is frequently overactivated by autoantibodies that stabilize the C3 convertase C3bBb. Anti-C3b and anti-factor B (anti-FB) IgG have been reported in three patients with C3G. We screened a cohort of 141 patients with C3G and Ig-associated membranoproliferative GN (Ig-MPGN) for anti-FB and anti-C3b autoantibodies using ELISA. We identified seven patients with anti-FB IgG, three patients with anti-C3b IgG, and five patients with anti-FB and anti-C3b IgG. Of these 15 patients, ten were diagnosed with Ig-MPGN. Among those patients with available data, 92% had a nephrotic syndrome, 64% had AKI, and 67% had a documented infection. Patients negative for anti-C3b and anti-FB IgG had much lower rates of infection (17 [25%] patients with C3G and one [10%] patient with Ig-MPGN). After 48 months, four of 15 (26%) positive patients had developed ESRD or died. All 15 patients had high plasma Bb levels, six (40%) patients had low levels of C3, and nine (60%) patients had high levels of soluble C5b9. In vitro, IgG purified from patients with anti-FB Abs selectively enhanced C3 convertase activity; IgG from patients with anti-C3b/anti-FB Abs enhanced C3 and C5 cleavage. IgG from patients with anti-C3b Abs stabilized C3bBb and perturbed C3b binding to complement receptor 1 but did not perturb binding to factor H. In conclusion, the prevalence of anti-C3b/anti-FB Abs and alternative pathway activation is similar in Ig-MPGN and C3G, suggesting similar pathogenic mechanisms. Identification of the underlying defect in Ig-MPGN could lead to improved treatment.
Project description:The complement system is a conserved component of innate immunity that fulfills diverse roles in defense and homeostasis. Inappropriate activation of complement contributes to many inflammatory diseases, however, which has led to a renewed emphasis on development of therapeutic complement inhibitors. Activation of complement component C3 is required for amplification of complement and is achieved through two multisubunit proteases called C3 convertases. Of these, the alternative pathway (AP) C3 convertase is responsible for a majority of the C3 activation products in vivo, which renders it an attractive target for inhibitor discovery. In this study, we report the identification and characterization of two related slow off-rate modified DNA aptamers (SOMAmer) reagents that inhibit formation of the AP C3 convertase by binding to the proprotease, factor B (FB). These aptamers, known as SL1102 (31 bases) and SL1103 (29 bases), contain uniform substitutions of 5-(<i>N</i>-2-naphthylethylcarboxyamide)-2'-deoxyuridine for deoxythymidine. SL1102 and SL1103 bind FB with <i>K</i> <sub>d</sub> values of 49 and 88 pM, respectively, and inhibit activation of C3 and lysis of rabbit erythrocytes under AP-specific conditions. Cocrystal structures of SL1102 (3.4 Å) and SL1103 (3.1 Å) bound to human FB revealed that SL1102 and SL1103 recognize a site at the juncture of the CCP1, CCP3, and vWF domains of FB. Consistent with these structures and previously published information, these aptamers inhibited FB binding to C3b and blocked formation of the AP C3 convertase. Together, these results demonstrate potent AP inhibition by modified DNA aptamers and expand the pipeline of FB-binding molecules with favorable pharmacologic properties.
Project description:The covalent binding of complement fragment C3b to zymosan by the action of the alternative-pathway C3 convertase and the reversible binding of several complement proteins (component C5, factor B, beta 1H and properdin) to C3b on zymosan have been investigated. When C3b is deposited on zymosan after activation by a surface-bound C3 convertase, the C3b molecules are deposited in foci around the C3 convertase site, with an average of 30 C3b molecules per site. The association constants of C5, factor B, beta 1H, and properdin for C3b bound to zymosan have been determined. The association constants ranged from 6.5 x 10(-5) M-1 for factor B to 2.9 x 10(7) M-1 for properdin. An approximate stoichiometry of 1 : 1 for C5, factor B, and properdin binding to C3b has been observed. Curvilinear Scatchard plots were observed for beta 1H binding to C3b, with the maximal extrapolated ratio of beta 1H to C3b of 0.32. Physiological amounts of properdin increase by 7-fold the affinity constant for factor B binding to C3b with no alteration in the stoichiometry. Similarly, physiological amounts of factor B increase the affinity constant of properdin to C3b about 4-fold with only a small measured difference in stoichiometry. Competition binding studies and protein modification suggest that C5, factor B, beta 1H, and properdin each bind to a distinct region on C3b.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus possesses an impressive arsenal of complement evasion proteins that help the bacterium escape attack of the immune system. The staphylococcal complement inhibitor (SCIN) protein exhibits a particularly high potency and was previously shown to block complement by acting at the level of the C3 convertases. However, many details about the exact binding and inhibitory mechanism remained unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that SCIN directly binds with nanomolar affinity to a functionally important area of C3b that lies near the C terminus of its beta-chain. Direct competition of SCIN with factor B for C3b slightly decreased the formation of surface-bound convertase. However, the main inhibitory effect can be attributed to an entrapment of the assembled convertase in an inactive state. Whereas native C3 is still able to bind to the blocked convertase, no generation and deposition of C3b could be detected in the presence of SCIN. Furthermore, SCIN strongly competes with the binding of factor H to C3b and influences its regulatory activities: the SCIN-stabilized convertase was essentially insensitive to decay acceleration by factor H and the factor I- and H-mediated conversion of surface-bound C3b to iC3b was significantly reduced. By targeting a key area on C3b, SCIN is able to block several essential functions within the alternative pathway, which explains the high potency of the inhibitor. Our findings provide an important insight into complement evasion strategies by S. aureus and may act as a base for further functional studies.
Project description:Complement is essential for the protection against infections; however, dysregulation of complement activation can cause onset and progression of numerous inflammatory diseases. Convertase enzymes play a central role in complement activation and produce the key mediators of complement: C3 convertases cleave C3 to generate chemoattractant C3a and label target cells with C3b, which promotes phagocytosis; C5 convertases cleave C5 into chemoattractant C5a, and C5b, which drives formation of the membrane attack complex. Since convertases mediate nearly all complement effector functions, they are ideal targets for therapeutic complement inhibition. A unique feature of convertases is their covalent attachment to target cells, which effectively confines complement activation to the cell surface. However, surface localization precludes detailed analysis of convertase activation and inhibition. In our previous work, we developed a model system to form purified alternative pathway (AP) C5 convertases on C3b-coated beads and quantify C5 conversion via functional analysis of released C5a. Here, we developed a C3aR cell reporter system that enables functional discrimination between C3 and C5 convertases. By regulating the C3b density on the bead surface, we observe that high C3b densities are important for conversion of C5, but not C3, by AP convertases. Screening of well-characterized complement-binding molecules revealed that differential inhibition of AP C3 convertases (C3bBb) and C5 convertases [C3bBb(C3b)n] is possible. Although both convertases contain C3b, the C3b-binding molecules Efb-C/Ecb and FHR5 specifically inhibit C5 conversion. Furthermore, using a new classical pathway convertase model, we show that these C3b-binding proteins not only block AP C3/C5 convertases but also inhibit formation of a functional classical pathway C5 convertase under well-defined conditions. Our models enable functional characterization of purified convertase enzymes and provide a platform for the identification and development of specific convertase inhibitors for treatment of complement-mediated disorders.
Project description:Human complement factor H-related protein (CFHR) 4 belongs to the factor H family of plasma glycoproteins that are composed of short consensus repeat (SCR) domains. Although factor H is a well known inhibitor of the alternative complement pathway, the functions of the CFHR proteins are poorly understood. CFHR4 lacks SCRs homologous to the complement inhibitory domains of factor H and, accordingly, has no significant complement regulatory activities. We have previously shown that CFHR4 binds C-reactive protein via its most N-terminal SCR, which leads to classical complement pathway activation. CFHR4 binds C3b via its C terminus, but the significance of this interaction is unclear. Therefore, we set out to clarify the functional relevance of C3b binding by CFHR4. Here, we report a novel role for CFHR4 in the complement system. CFHR4 serves as a platform for the assembly of an alternative pathway C3 convertase by binding C3b. This is based on the sustained ability of CFHR4-bound C3b to bind factor B and properdin, leading to an active convertase that generates C3a and C3b from C3. The CFHR4-C3bBb convertase is less sensitive to the factor H-mediated decay compared with the C3bBb convertase. CFHR4 mutants containing exchanges of conserved residues within the C-terminal C3b-binding site showed significantly reduced C3b binding and alternative pathway complement activation. In conclusion, our results suggest that, in contrast to the complement inhibitor factor H, CFHR4 acts as an enhancer of opsonization by promoting complement activation.
Project description:In this study we investigate the hydrolysis of C3 to C3(H2O) and its ability to initiate activation via the alternative pathway (AP) of the complement system. The internal thioester bond within C3 is hydrolyzed by water in plasma because of its inherent lability. This results in the formation of non-proteolytically activated C3(H2O) which is believed have C3b-like properties and be able to form an active initial fluid phase C3 convertase together with Factor B (FB). The generation of C3(H2O) occurs at a low but constant rate in blood, but the formation can be greatly accelerated by the interaction with various surfaces or nucleophilic and chaotropic agents. In order to more specifically elucidate the relevance of the C3(H2O) for AP activation, formation was induced in solution by repeated freeze/thawing, methylamine or KCSN treatment and named C3(x) where the x can be any of the reactive nucleophilic or chaotropic agents. Isolation and characterization of C3(x) showed that it exists in several forms with varying attributes, where some have more C3b-like properties and can be cleaved by Factor I in the presence of Factor H. However, in common for all these variants is that they are less active partners in initial formation of the AP convertase compared with the corresponding activity of C3b. These observations support the idea that formation of C3(x) in the fluid phase is not a strong initiator of the AP. It is rather likely that the AP mainly acts as an amplification mechanism of complement activation that is triggered by deposition of target-bound C3b molecules generated by other means.