The role of c5b-9 terminal complement complex in activation of the cell cycle and transcription

Immunol Res. 2005;31(1):37-46. doi: 10.1385/IR:31:1:37.


Activation of the complement system plays an important role in innate and acquired immunity. Activation of complement and subsequent formation of C5b-9 channels on the surface of cellular membranes leads to cell lysis. When the number of channels assembled on the surface of nucleated cells is limited, C5b-9 does not cause lysis, but instead can induce cell-cycle progression by activating signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, and key components of the cell-cycle machinery. Cell-cycle induction by C5b-9 is dependent on the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and the ERK1 pathway in a Gi protein-dependent manner. Cell-cycle activation is regulated, in part, by activation of proto-oncogene c-jun and AP1 DNA binding activity. C5b-9 induces sequential activation of CDK4 and CDK2, leading to G1/S-phase transition and cellular proliferation. RGC-32 is a novel gene whose expression is induced by C5b-9. RGC-32 may play a key role in cell-cycle activation by increasing cyclin B1-CDC2 activity. C5b-9-mediated cell-cycle activation plays an important role in cellular proliferation and protection from apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogenes / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex