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Review
. 2012 Apr;18(2):350-63.
doi: 10.1177/1753425910396252. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Complement and Non-Complement Activating Functions of C1q: A Prototypical Innate Immune Molecule

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Review

Complement and Non-Complement Activating Functions of C1q: A Prototypical Innate Immune Molecule

Annapurna Nayak et al. Innate Immun. .

Abstract

C1q is a versatile innate immune molecule that serves as the initiation subcomponent of the classical complement pathway. In addition, it is also a potent pattern recognition molecule, the versatility of which has fuelled its functional flexibility. C1q recognises an array of self, non-self and altered-self ligands. The broad-spectrum ligand-binding potential of C1q is facilitated by the modular organisation of the heterotrimeric globular head region, its ability to change its conformation in a very subtle way, and the manner in which this ancient molecule appears to have evolved to deal with the different types of ligands. Over recent years, molecules that resemble C1q have been put together to form the C1q family. In this review, we briefly summarise complement-dependent and complement-independent functions of C1q, its cognate receptors and key members of the rapidly growing C1q family.

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