The classical pathway of complement composed of C1, C4, and C2 is an antibody-dependent activation cascade that is present in jawed vertebrates. C1 is a Ca2+-dependent complex of C1q, C1r, and C1s, and analogous to an initiation complex of the lectin pathway of complement, which consists of the mannose-binding lectin (MBL) homologous to C1q and the MBL-associated serine proteases (MASPs) homologous to C1r and C1s. Thus divergence of C1q and MBL and that of C1r, C1s and the MASPs are considered to be crucial events in the establishment and evolution of the classical complement pathway. However, molecular information on the C1 subcomponents is very limited in lower vertebrates. Here we describe two distinct C1r/C1s/MASP2-1ike cDNA clones (C1r/s-A, C1r/s-B) isolated from the common carp (Cyprinus carpio). They share 83% identity at the amino acid level and have a domain structure similar to that of C1r/C1s/MASPs from other species. The serine protease domain of the carp homologues lacks the histidine loop and is encoded by a single exon containing an AGY codon for the active serine residue, as in mammalian C1r, C1s, and MASP2. Southern blot and PCR analyses indicated that the carp has at least three copies of the C1r/s-A gene and a single C1r/s-B gene. Although phylogenetic tree analysis does not definitively assign carp C1r/s-A and C1r/s-B, they might represent ancestral molecules which later diverged into C1r, C1s, and MASP2 of higher vertebrates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes