Product(s) used in this publication: PepSpots™ Peptides on Cellulose
Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a renal disease associated with complement alternative pathway dysregulation and is characterized by endothelial injury. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a soluble pattern recognition molecule expressed by endothelial cells and upregulated under inflammatory conditions. PTX3 activates complement, but it also binds the complement inhibitor factor H. In this study, we show that native factor H, factor H-like protein 1, and factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR1) bind to PTX3 and that PTX3-bound factor H and factor H-like protein 1 maintain their complement regulatory activities. PTX3, when bound to extracellular matrix, recruited functionally active factor H. Residues within short consensus repeat 20 of factor H that are relevant for PTX3 binding were identified using a peptide array. aHUS-associated factor H mutations within this binding site caused a reduced factor H binding to PTX3. Similarly, seven of nine analyzed anti-factor H autoantibodies isolated from aHUS patients inhibited the interaction between factor H and PTX3, and five autoantibodies also inhibited PTX3 binding to CFHR1. Moreover, the aHUS-associated CFHR1*B variant showed reduced binding to PTX3 in comparison with CFHR1*A. Thus, the interactions of PTX3 with complement regulators are impaired by certain mutations and autoantibodies affecting factor H and CFHR1, which could result in an enhanced local complement-mediated inflammation, endothelial cell activation, and damage in aHUS.