The membrane attack mechanism of complement: Photolabeling reveals insertion of terminal proteins into target membrane

V. W. Hu, A. F. Esser, E. R. Podack, B. J. Wisnieski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have utilized a membrane-restricted, photoactivable glycolipid probe to investigate the protein-lipid interactions involved in complement (C) mediated lysis of a target membrane. The purified C proteins C5b-6, C7, C8, and C9 were added to artificial membrane vesicles containing the 14C-labeled photoreactive probe anchored in the outer monolayer of the membrane, and 6-carboxyfluorescein trapped in the lumen as an indicator for effective lysis. Irradiation of the membrane samples at different stages of functional complex assembly resulted in labeling of each of the 5 terminal C proteins, indicating that all 5 proteins become inserted into the hydrophobic milieu of the membrane during some stage of complex assembly. However, at the final stage of complex assembly, only C9 appeared to be labeled. Because we can demonstrate that the photoreactive probe has no strong affinity for C9 over the other terminal components (C5b-C8), the extensive change in labeling specificity during assembly is evidence for substantial changes in protein-lipid and possibly protein-protein interactions during formation of the C lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-386
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume127
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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