Effects of complement activation products on the synthesis of decay accelerating factor and membrane cofactor protein by human mesangial cells

Kidney Int. 1994 Oct;46(4):986-92. doi: 10.1038/ki.1994.358.


We previously demonstrated that activation of terminal complement components (C8 and/or C9) increases the synthesis and expression of decay accelerating factor (DAF) on human glomerular cells. DAF is a cell membrane-associated complement regulatory protein that inhibits complement activation on cell surfaces. In the present studies we evaluated, first, the mechanisms by which complement activation stimulates DAF synthesis, and second the effect of complement activation on the synthesis. and expression of membrane cofactor protein (MCP), another complement regulatory protein, by human mesangial cells (HMC) in culture. Complement activation by immune complexes resulted in increased DAF mRNA levels by at least two mechanisms: deposition of activated C3 on HMC and generation of soluble complement activation products, specifically C5a. The increase in DAF mRNA levels induced by activated C3 or C5a was short lived (less than 4 hr). In contrast, the up-regulation of DAF mRNA levels induced by activation of the complete complement cascade persisted for at least eight hours. The effect of complement activation on DAF mRNA levels was not affected by cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor. However, cycloheximide alone resulted in a significant up-regulation of DAF mRNA levels on HMC. In contrast to those findings complement activation did not cause an up-regulation of MCP mRNA, nor an increase in the synthesis of this protein. However, by FACS, complement produced a small but significant increase of MCP protein levels on HMC. In conclusion, both MCP and DAF are present on HMC. Several activated complement components are capable of increasing DAF mRNA levels, but DAF protein levels increase only after activation of the whole complement cascade.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • CD55 Antigens
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Complement Activation / physiology*
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Glomerular Mesangium / drug effects
  • Glomerular Mesangium / immunology*
  • Glomerular Mesangium / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Cofactor Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD46 protein, human
  • CD55 Antigens
  • Membrane Cofactor Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cycloheximide