Commercially available complement component-depleted sera are unexpectedly codepleted of ficolin-2

Academic Article


  • The ficolins are a family of innate pattern recognition molecules that are known to bind acetylated compounds and activate complement through the association of mannose binding lectin (MBL)/ficolin-associated serine proteases (MASPs). Their importance has more recently become appreciated, as they have been shown to play a role in a variety of disease processes from infection to autoimmunity. While studying ficolin-2-mediated complement deposition on Streptococcus pneumoniae, we found that sera depleted of C1q or other complement components were also codepleted of ficolin-2 but not ficolin-1, ficolin-3, or MBL. MBL present in C1q-depleted sera was able to mediate complement deposition on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, suggesting the presence of MASPs. We found that complement was activated on pneumococci in C1q-depleted serum only after opsonization with exogenous recombinant ficolin-2 (rFicolin-2). Also, no complement deposition was observed in C1q-depleted serum when pneumococci were opsonized with rFicolin-2 mutated at its lysine-57 residue, where MASPs are known to associate. Thus, these depleted sera are a unique tool to study ficolin-2-mediated complement pathways; however, one should be aware that ficolin-2 is absent from complement component-depleted sera. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Brady AM; Geno KA; Dalecki AG; Cheng X; Nahm MH
  • Start Page

  • 1323
  • End Page

  • 1329
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 9