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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activation of the lectin complement pathway by H-ficolin (Hakata antigen).

Ficolins are a group of proteins which consist of a collagen-like domain and a fibrinogen-like domain. In human serum, there are two types of ficolins named L-ficolin/P35 and H-ficolin (Hakata Ag), both of which have lectin activity. We recently demonstrated that L-ficolin/P35 is associated with mannose-binding lectin (MBL)- associated serine proteases (MASP) 1 and 2 and small MBL- associated protein (sMAP), and that the complex activates the lectin pathway. In this study, we report the characterization of H-ficolin in terms of its ability to activate complement. Western blotting analysis showed the presence of MASP-1, MASP-2, MASP-3, and sMAP in H-ficolin preparations isolated from Cohn Fraction III. The MASPs in the preparations had proteolytic activities against C4, C2, and C3 in the fluid phase. When H-ficolin preparations were bound to anti-H-ficolin Ab which had been coated on ELISA plates, they activated C4, although no C4 activation was noted when anti-MBL and anti-L-ficolin/P35 were used. H-ficolin binds to PSA, a polysaccharide produced by Aerococcus viridans. C4 was activated by H-ficolin preparations bound to PSA which had been coated on ELISA plates. These results indicate that H-ficolin is a second ficolin which is associated with MASPs and sMAP, and which activates the lectin pathway.[1]


  1. Activation of the lectin complement pathway by H-ficolin (Hakata antigen). Matsushita, M., Kuraya, M., Hamasaki, N., Tsujimura, M., Shiraki, H., Fujita, T. J. Immunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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