BioScience Trends. 2016;10(3):231-234. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2016.01052)

Dual modulating functions of thrombomodulin in the alternative complement pathway.

Tateishi K, Imaoka M, Matsushita M


Thrombomodulin (TM) is a transmembrane protein expressed on vascular endothelial cells. TM has anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has recently been reported that TM modulates complement, an immune effector system that destroys pathogens and is also involved in inflammation. TM was demonstrated to enhance the degradation of C3b into iC3b by factor I and factor H, indicating that its role is in negative regulation in the alternative pathway of the complement system. In this study, we examined the effects of recombinant human soluble TM protein composed of the extracellular domains (rTM) on the alternative pathway. The degradation of C3b into iC3b by factor I and factor H was enhanced by rTM as assessed by SDS-PAGE, confirming the previous observation. We also found that rTM enhances the cleavage of C3 into C3b as a result of activation of the alternative pathway. These results indicate that TM has both activating and inactivating functions in the alternative pathway.

KEYWORDS: Thrombomodulin, complement, alternative pathway, modulation

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