We have previously shown that serum of the teleost fish barred sand bass (Paralabrax nebulifer) cleaves the α'-chain of human C4b and C3b. The proteins that participate in these reactions were purified, and a specific protease and a single cofactor protein were identified. Functional characterization of the recombinantly expressed sand bass cofactor protein (SBP1) and truncated forms containing short consensus repeats (SCRs) 1-2, 1- 3, 1-4, 1-5, and 12-17 revealed that SBP1 and SCRs 1-4 mediate the functional activities of the human plasma regulatory protein C4bp and factor H. They form a complex with C4b, inhibit the formation, and accelerate the decay of the classical pathway C3 convertase and display cofactor activity for the cleavage of C4b. In contrast, the interaction of SBP1 and SCRs 1-4 with human C3b in all these activities was limited. This difference is due to species- specific incompatibilities between the cofactor protein and human C3b. SBP1 and SCRs 1-5 displayed full binding and cofactor activity for methylamine- treated C3 from trout, a species closely related to the sand bass. The presence of only one cofactor in the fish plasma that combines the functional activities of C4bp and factor H demonstrates that the sand bass cofactor protein is the ancestral precursor to the two complement regulatory proteins in human plasma.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)