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Keywords:

  • Complement factor H;
  • Decay acceleration;
  • Complement;
  • Recombinant expression;
  • Factor-H-like protein-1

Abstract

The human factor H-like protein 1 (FHL-1) is composed of seven repetitive elements (short consensus repeats; SCR) that are identical in sequence to the seven N-terminal SCR of complement factor H. We show that the FHL-1 protein has decay acceleration activity in that it can dissociate C3/C5-convertases bound to the surface of sheep red blood cells. The same activity was also determined for factor H. However, compared to FHL-1, factor H was more efficient in decay acceleration, as about 100-fold less protein was required for a 50% inhibition of activity. The domain required for decay accelerating activity of FHL-1 and factor H was mapped by the use of recombinant fragments. FHL-1 and a series of truncated forms of the protein were expressed in the baculovirus system. Recombinant FHL-1 and all mutants which include SCR 1–4 were functionally active. These four N-terminal SCR are essential and sufficient for activity, as deletion mutants which lack SCR 1 or SCR 4 showed no activity. These results demonstrate that FHL-1 and factor H have identical and overlapping regulatory functions in the complement system and that the domain required for this activity is located in the overlapping region of both proteins within the N-terminal four SCR.