The complement system plays an important role in innate immunity. In the lectin complement pathway, mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and ficolins act as recognition molecules, and MBL-associated serine protease (MASP) is a key enzyme. It has been suggested that MASP-2 is responsible for the activation of C4. Other serine proteases (MASP-1 and MASP-3) are also associated with MBL or ficolins; however, their functions are still controversial. In this study, a MASP-1- and MASP-3-deficient mouse model (MASP1/3-/-) was generated by a gene targeting strategy to investigate the roles of MASP-1 and MASP-3 in the lectin pathway. Serum derived from MASP1/3-/- mice showed significantly lower activity of both C4 and C3 deposition on mannan-agarose, and this low activity was restored by the addition of recombinant MASP-1. MASP-1/3-deficient serum showed a significant delay for activation of MASP-2 compared with normal serum. Reconstitution of recombinant MASP-1 in MASP-1/3-deficient serum was able to promote the activation of MASP-2. From these results, we propose that MASP-1 contributes to the activation of the lectin pathway, probably through the activation of MASP-2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy