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

Human M-ficolin is a secretory protein that activates the lectin complement pathway.

Three types of ficolins have been identified in humans: L-ficolin, M-ficolin, and H-ficolin. Similar to mannose-binding lectin, L-ficolin and H-ficolin are the recognition molecules in the lectin complement pathway. Another human ficolin, M-ficolin, is a nonserum ficolin that is expressed in leukocytes and lung; however, little is known about its physiologic roles. In this study, we report the characterization of M-ficolin in terms of its protein localization and lectin activity. M-ficolin was localized in secretory granules in the cytoplasm of neutrophils, monocytes, and type II alveolar epithelial cells in lung. M-ficolin precipitated with mannose-binding lectin- associated serine proteases (MASP)-1 and MASP-2 in a co-immunoprecipitation assay, indicating that M-ficolin forms complexes with MASP-1 and MASP-2. M-ficolin-MASP complexes activated complement on N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)-coated microplates in a C4 deposition assay. M-ficolin bound to several neoglycoproteins bearing GlcNAc, N-acetylgalactosamine, and sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine, suggesting that M-ficolin can recognize the common carbohydrate residues found in microbes. Indeed, M-ficolin bound to Staphylococcus aureus through GlcNAc. These results indicate that M-ficolin, like its family members, functions as a recognition molecule of the lectin complement pathway and plays an important role in innate immunity.[1]


  1. Human M-ficolin is a secretory protein that activates the lectin complement pathway. Liu, Y., Endo, Y., Iwaki, D., Nakata, M., Matsushita, M., Wada, I., Inoue, K., Munakata, M., Fujita, T. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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