C-reactive protein and pentraxin-3 binding of factor H-like protein 1 differs from complement factor H: Implications for retinal inflammation

Maurice Swinkels, Justine H. Zhang, Viranga Tilakaratna, Graeme Black, Rahat Perveen, Selina McHarg, Antonio Inforzato, Anthony J. Day, Simon J. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Retinal inflammation plays a key role in the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that leads to loss of central vision. The deposition of the acute phase pentraxin C-reactive protein (CRP) in the macula activates the complement system, thereby contributing to dysregulated inflammation. The complement protein factor H (FH) can bind CRP and down-regulate an inflammatory response. However, it is not known whether a truncated form of FH, called factor H-like protein 1 (FHL-1), which plays a significant regulatory role in the eye, also interacts with CRP. Here, we compare the binding properties of FHL-1 and FH to both CRP and the related protein pentraxin-3 (PTX3). We find that, unlike FH, FHL-1 can bind pro-inflammatory monomeric CRP (mCRP) as well as the circulating pentameric form. Furthermore, the four-amino acid C-terminal tail of FHL-1 (not present in FH) plays a role in mediating its binding to mCRP. PTX3 was found to be present in the macula of donor eyes and the AMD-associated Y402H polymorphism altered the binding of FHL-1 to PTX3. Our findings reveal that the binding characteristics of FHL-1 differ from those of FH, likely underpinning independent immune regulatory functions in the context of the human retina.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1643
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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