A discontinuous factor H binding site in the third component of complement as delineated by synthetic peptides

J Biol Chem. 1988 Aug 25;263(24):12147-50.


Factor H, a very important regulator of alternative pathway activation, exerts its effects by binding to the third component complement, C3. In this study we present evidence that factor H reacts with at least two sites in the third component of complement (C3), and we have mapped one of these sites within the C3d fragment of C3. By using direct binding assays of an anti-human H anti-idiotypic antibody (alpha alpha H) and of H to C3 fragments, it was shown that both bound to the C3b and C3d (but not to C3c) fragments of C3. Cleavage of C3d by CNBr generated two major fragments with Mr values of 12,500 (residues 997-1107) and 8,600 (residues 1178-1252). Binding studies with these two fragments showed that only the Mr 8,600 fragment bound to both H and alpha alpha H. Several synthetic peptides (A58, 1192-1249; P28, 1187-1214; P16, 1194-1209; P14, 1201-1214; B17, 1206-1222; J28, 1222-1249; and J16, 1234-1249) were synthesized according to the primary sequence of the Mr 8,600 fragment. Based on the differential binding of these synthetic peptides to H, their inhibitory effect on H binding to C3b or C3d, and their effect on H cofactor activity, we mapped the H binding site in C3 to a discontinuous site spanning residues 1187-1249 of the C3 sequence. By studying the inhibition of H binding to C3b or C3d by the different synthetic peptides, we also present evidence that a second binding site in C3b for H exists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Binding Sites
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Complement C3b / metabolism
  • Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins / immunology
  • Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins / metabolism*
  • Complement C3c
  • Complement C3d
  • Complement Factor H
  • Cyanogen Bromide
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / immunology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Peptide Fragments / chemical synthesis
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Protein Conformation


  • Antibodies
  • CFH protein, human
  • Complement C3
  • Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Complement C3b
  • Complement C3c
  • Complement C3d
  • Complement Factor H
  • Cyanogen Bromide