Mannan-binding lectin and C1q bind to distinct structures and exert differential effects on macrophages

Zsuzsa Bajtay, Mihâly Jôzsi, Zoltén Bânki, Steffen Thiel, Nicole Thielens, Anna Erdei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


While the interaction of complement component C1q with cellular proteins is extensively studied, much less is known about the binding of the structurally related molecule, mannan-binding lectin (MBL) to various cells. Here we show by cytofluorimetry that the interaction of MBL with immunocompetent cells is much more restricted than that of C1q. It is shown that under conditions of physiological ionic strength MBL binds to human monocyte-derived macrophages (MΦ) and monocytoid cell lines, but not to T and B lymphocytes, in contrast to C1q, which interacts with all these cells under the same conditions. As opposed to the binding of C1q, low ionic strength does not improve the interaction of MBL with MΦ. No competition for cellular binding sites was found when MBL and C1q were added simultaneously to the cells. Studying the functional consequences of the interaction, we found that the release of TNF-α from MΦ is induced by C1q but not by MBL. Production of complement C3 by MΦ is stimulated by C1q strongly, white the effect of MBL is much weaker. C3 produced upon C1q-mediated triggering is shown to opsonize RBC, resulting in enhanced phagocytosis. These results suggest that cell membrane molecules binding MBL and C1q are not identical; moreover, biological functions exerted by these proteins are also markedly different.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1706-1713
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean journal of immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2000


  • C1q
  • C3 production
  • Macrophage
  • Mannan-binding lectin
  • TNF release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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