Assembly and Enzymatic Properties of the Catalytic Domain of Human Complement Protease C1r

Monique Lacroix, Christine Ebel, József Kardos, József Dobó, Péter Gál, Péter Závodszky, Gérard J. Arlaud, Nicole M. Thielens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


The catalytic properties of C1r, the protease that mediates activation of the C1 complex of complement, are mediated by its C-terminal region, comprising two complement control protein (CCP) modules followed by a serine protease (SP) domain. Baculovirus-mediated expression was used to produce fragments containing the SP domain and either 2 CCP modules (CCP1/2-SP) or only the second CCP module (CCP2-SP). In each case, the wild-type species and two mutants stabilized in the proenzyme form by mutations at the cleavage site (R446Q) or at the active site serine residue (S637A), were produced. Both wild-type fragments were recovered as two-chain, activated proteases, whereas all mutants retained a single-chain, proenzyme structure, providing the first experimental evidence that C1r activation is an autolytic process. As shown by sedimentation velocity analysis, all CCP1/2-SP fragments were dimers (5.5-5.6 S), and all CCP2-SP fragments were monomers (3.2-3.4 S). Thus, CCP1 is essential to the assembly of the dimer, but formation of a stable dimer is not a prerequisite for self-activation. Activation of the R446Q mutants could be achieved by extrinsic cleavage by thermolysin, which cleaved the CCP2-SP species more efficiently than the CCP1/2-SP species and yielded enzymes with C1s-cleaving activities similar to their active wild-type counter-parts. Clr and its activated fragments all cleaved C1s, with relative efficiencies in the order C1r < CCP1/2-SP < CCP2-SP, indicating that CCP1 is not involved in C1s recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36233-36240
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Sep 28 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assembly and Enzymatic Properties of the Catalytic Domain of Human Complement Protease C1r'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this