Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.emboj.7600533
Title: The ancient origin of the complement system
Authors: Zhu, Y. 
Thangamani, S. 
Ho, B.
Ding, J.L. 
Keywords: Complement
Evolution
Innate immunity
Protostome
Issue Date: 26-Jan-2005
Citation: Zhu, Y., Thangamani, S., Ho, B., Ding, J.L. (2005-01-26). The ancient origin of the complement system. EMBO Journal 24 (2) : 382-394. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.emboj.7600533
Abstract: The complement system has been thought to originate exclusively in the deuterostomes. Here, we show that the central complement components already existed in the primitive protostome lineage. A functional homolog of vertebrate complement 3, CrC3, has been isolated from a 'living fossil', the horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda). CrC3 resembles human C3 and shows closest homology to C3 sequences of lower deuterostomes. CrC3 and plasma lectins bind a wide range of microbes, forming the frontline innate immune defense system. Additionally, we identified CrC2/Bf, a homolog of vertebrate C2 and Bf that participates in C3 activation, and a C3 receptor-like sequence. Furthermore, complement-mediated phagocytosis of bacteria by the hemocytes of horseshoe crab was also observed. Thus, a primitive yet complex opsonic complement defense system is revealed in the horseshoe crab, a protostome species. Our findings demonstrate an ancient origin of the critical complement components and the opsonic defense mechanism in the Precambrian ancestor of bilateral animals.
Source Title: EMBO Journal
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/101860
ISSN: 02614189
DOI: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7600533
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