Synergy between ficolin-2 and pentraxin 3 boosts innate immune recognition and complement deposition

Ying Jie Ma, Andrea Doni, Tina Hummelshøj, Christian Honoré, Antonio Bastone, Alberto Mantovani, Nicole M. Thielens, Peter Garred

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a multifunctional soluble pattern recognition molecule that is crucial in innate immune protection against opportunistic fungal pathogens such as Aspergillus fumigatus. The mechanisms that mediate downstream effects of PTX3 are largely unknown. However, PTX3 interacts with C1q from the classical pathway of the complement. The ficolins are recognition molecules of the lectin complement pathway sharing structural and functional characteristics with C1q. Thus, we investigated whether the ficolins (Ficolin-1, -2, and -3) interact with PTX3 and whether the complexes are able to modulate complement activation on A. fumigatus. Ficolin-2 could be affinity-isolated from human plasma on immobilized PTX3. In binding studies, Ficolin-1 and particularly Ficolin-2 interacted with PTX3 in a calcium-independent manner. Ficolin- 2, but not Ficolin-1 and Ficolin-3, bound A. fumigatus directly, but this binding was enhanced by PTX3 and vice versa. Ficolin-2-dependent complement deposition on the surface of A. fumigatus was enhanced by PTX3. A polymorphism in the FCN2 gene causing a T236M amino acid change in the fibrinogen- like binding domain of Ficolin-2, which affects the binding to GlcNAc, reduced Ficolin-2 binding to PTX3 and A. fumigatus significantly. These results demonstrate that PTX3 and Ficolin-2 may recruit each other on pathogens. The effect was alleviated by a common amino acid change in the fibrinogen-like domain of Ficolin-2. Thus, components of the humoral innate immune system, which activate different complement pathways, cooperate and amplify microbial recognition and effector functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28263-28275
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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