Chimeric Proteins Containing MAP-1 and Functional Domains of C4b-Binding Protein Reveal Strong Complement Inhibitory Capacities

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The complement system is a tightly regulated network of proteins involved in defense against pathogens, inflammatory processes, and coordination of the innate and adaptive immune responses. Dysregulation of the complement cascade is associated with many inflammatory disorders. Thus, inhibition of the complement system has emerged as an option for treatment of a range of different inflammatory diseases. MAP-1 is a pattern recognition molecule (PRM)-associated inhibitor of the lectin pathway of the complement system, whereas C4b-binding protein (C4BP) regulates both the classical and lectin pathways. In this study we generated chimeric proteins consisting of MAP-1 and the first five domains of human C4BP (C4BP1-5) in order to develop a targeted inhibitor acting at different levels of the complement cascade. Two different constructs were designed and expressed in CHO cells where MAP-1 was fused with C4BP1-5 in either the C- or N-terminus. The functionality of the chimeric proteins was assessed using different in vitro complement activation assays. Both chimeric proteins displayed the characteristic Ca2+-dependent dimerization and binding to PRMs of native MAP-1, as well as the co-factor activity of native C4BP. In ELISA-based complement activation assays they could effectively inhibit the lectin and classical pathways. Notably, MAP-1:C4BP1-5 was five times more effective than rMAP-1 and rC4BP1-5 applied at the same time, emphasizing the advantage of a single inhibitor containing both functional domains. The MAP-1/C4BP chimeras exert unique complement inhibitory properties and represent a novel therapeutic approach targeting both upstream and central complement activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1945
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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