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Jens Christian Jensenius

Bovine conglutinin binds to an oligosaccharide determinant presented by iC3b, but not by C3, C3b or C3c

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  • Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Bovine conglutinin is a serum lectin that agglutinates erythrocytes preincubated with antibodies and complement. This agglutination occurs through the binding of conglutinin to iC3b, a fragment of the complement component C3. It was reported that conglutinin binds fluid-phase C3b and C3c as well as iC3b. We re-investigated the reactivity of conglutinin towards fluid-phase C3 degradation products. ELISA wells were coated with conglutinin and reacted with C3 split products generated in normal human serum, in factor I-deficient serum, or in factor I-depleted serum. Conglutinin-bound C3 fragments were detected with anti-C3c and anti-C3d antibodies. An increased signal was observed during the activation of complement in normal human serum with the peak response after 1-2 hr, following which the signal decreased, reaching background level after 72 hr. The oligosaccharides on C3c, generated in serum, are thus not recognized by conglutinin. No signal was observed when factor I-deficient serum or factor I-depleted serum was used instead of normal serum. Reconstitution with purified factor I re-established the normal pattern. Examination of the conglutinin-bound C3 molecules by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting with anti-C3c and anti-C3d antibodies revealed bands characteristic for iC3b, and no bands corresponding to C3b or C3c. Reduction of the disulphide bonds prior to the incubation of the activated serum with the conglutinin-coated wells revealed a band of 63,000 MW, characteristic of the N-terminal fragment of the alpha-chain of iC3b. We also investigated the binding to the solid-phase conglutinin of purified C3 and degradation products generated with enzymes. In this case, C3 as well as C3b and C3c were bound, suggesting conformational changes in C3 during purification. In conclusion, when C3 conversion takes place at near physiological conditions, conglutinin interacts specifically with the oligosaccharide on the alpha-chain of iC3b.
Original languageEnglish
JournalImmunology
Volume81
Issue4
Pages (from-to)648-54
Number of pages7
ISSN0019-2805
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1994

    Research areas

  • Animals, Blotting, Western, Cattle, Collectins, Complement C3, Complement C3b, Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins, Complement C3c, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Epitopes, Oligosaccharides, Serum Globulins

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