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1. MICR 1220 > Complement > Flashcards

Flashcards in Complement Deck (23)
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What is a complement?

Soluble component proteins of the immune system
There are over 20 serum proteins floating around in the blood
They destroy organisms or target them for phagocytosis
There are three major pathways of the complement: classical, lectin and alternative


What are some proteins, factors and receptors of complements?

Complement proteins [C] C1; C2; C3; C4; C5; C6; C7; C8;C9
Complement factors: Factor B; Factor D; Properdin
Mannose binding protein [MBP], ficollins. CRP
Complement receptors [CR] CR1; CR2; CR3


How are the three different pathways activated?

Classical - antigen-antibody complexes
Alternative and lectin - microorganisms (innate)

They all result in an activation cascade, activating enzymes etc...
They all converge to form an overall attack from all the proteins coming together to form a pore in the membrane of pathogens


What is the initial stage of the complement pathway?

Inactive protein in the serum is activated by chopping it in half to form two different fragments (one small and one large)
Small fragment - mediator of inflammation
Large fragment - binding to surface of antigen


What is the end result of the classical pathway?

There is a build up of soluble proteins on the membrane = a membrane attack complex (MAC)
This will form a pore in the pathogen
Hundreds of MACs are deposited in the lipid bilayer


What are the main features of the classical complement pathway?

Trigger - anitbodies (IgG/M)
Main molecules involved - First C1r and C2s and later C1Q and C3B
Outcome - membrane attack complex (MAC)


What is gram positive and gram negative bacteria?

Gram positive bacteria - thick cell wall of polypeptidoglycan

Gram negative bacteria - thin cell wall of polpeptidoglycan


What does the classical complement pathway affect?

It kills gram-negative bacteria, enveloped viruses and some protozoan parasites

For gram positive bacteria there is no cell lysis - as they can protect themselves with a thicker polypeptidoglycan cell wall
Fungi also protect themselves with a thick chitin cell wall


What is a lectin?

A carbohydrate binding protein

They mediate attachment and binding of bacteria and viruses to their intended targets


What initiates the lectin binding pathway?

Mannose-binding lectin

This is bound to microbial surfaces
Present in serum at low concentrations and increased in acute phase response (liver-derived proteins upregulated during inflammation)

And collectins - SpA and Sp-D


What is involved in the lectin binding pathway?

Associated serine proteases - MASP-1 and MASP-2
Theses enzyme complexes cleave C4 and C2


What is the outcome of the lectin binding pathway?

Either Membrane attack complex (MAC) or Terminal complement complex (TCC)


What is the alternative pathway?

It is constantly being activated but continually being switched off by host control mechanisms
Molecules will bind to everything and are very reactive
There is a C3b dependent positive feedback loop (amplification loop)


What does the alternative pathway involve?

Factors B and D
Initiated when C3 is spontaneously hydrolysed
C3b - binds to a microbe


What is the outcome of the alternative pathway?

Membrane attack complex or terminal complement complex


What are some other biological effects of the complement proteins?

Phagocytes and macrophages have regions that can bind to complement proteins which act as chemoattractants

C3a and C5a are “anaphylatoxins” they activate mast cells
The receptors on mast cells bind to C3a/C5a and digest them (overactivation leads to allergies)
C3a and C5a are chemotaxins. They attract phagocytes (neutrophils and mononuclear phagocytes)
C3b is an opsonin; it enables phagocytes to recognise and bind to antigens (due to C3b receptor) and phagocytose them


What are some control mechanisms of the complement proteins?

Factor I (co-factor H)
Anaphylatoxin inactivator
Cell surface proteins


How does Factor I, help give control?

Factor I is a highly specific serine proteinase which is concerned with the regulation of the C3 convertase of the alternative (C3bBb) pathways
With the help of the cofactor H ; Factor I splits the alpha chain of C3b
This destroys the C3 convertase activity


How does the anaphylatoxin inactivator help control?

The anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a are inactivatated by this, not allowing the C3/C5 convertase to split these proteins


What are some cell surface proteins that help in regulation?

Membrane cofactor protein
Delat accelerating factor
Homologous restriction factor


What are some complement deficiencies?

Factor I deficiency - inability to deal properly with pyogenic microorganisms
C3/MBL deficiencies causes increases to a variety of infections
Deficiencies in immune complex clearance may lead to systemic lupus
or glomerulonephritis
Inflammatory thrombotic conditions- uncontrolled C5a in antiphospholipid syndrome


What is the overall pathway to take away?

Initiation - opsonization - cell lysis - signalling


What can happen to evade the complement pathway?

If viruses have similar homologs to the complement protein it may be able to evade an immune response (blocking the complement pathway)