An extended mini-complement factor H molecule ameliorates experimental C3 glomerulopathy

Kidney Int. 2015 Dec;88(6):1314-1322. doi: 10.1038/ki.2015.233. Epub 2015 Jul 29.


Abnormal regulation of the complement alternative pathway is associated with C3 glomerulopathy. Complement factor H is the main plasma regulator of the alternative pathway and consists of 20 short consensus repeat (SCR) domains. Although recombinant full-length factor H represents a logical treatment for C3 glomerulopathy, its production has proved challenging. We and others have designed recombinant mini-factor H proteins in which 'non-essential' SCR domains have been removed. Here, we report the in vitro and in vivo effects of a mini-complement factor H protein, FH1-5^18-20, using the unique factor H-deficient (Cfh-/-) mouse model of C3 glomerulopathy. FH1-5^18-20 is comprised of the key complement regulatory domains (SCRs 1-5) linked to the surface recognition domains (SCRs 18-20). Intraperitoneal injection of FH1-5^18-20 in Cfh-/- mice reduced abnormal glomerular C3 deposition, similar to full-length factor H. Systemic effects on plasma alternative pathway control were comparatively modest, in association with a short half-life. Thus, FH1-5^18-20 is a potential therapeutic agent for C3 glomerulopathy and other renal conditions with alternative pathway-mediated tissue injury.