Functional polymorphisms in the FCN2 gene are not associated with invasive pneumococcal disease.
ABSTRACT L-ficolin is a pattern-recognition molecule which binds lipoteichoic acid and Gram-positive bacteria and activates the lectin pathway of complement. Five common functional polymorphisms have recently been identified in the FCN2 gene which encodes L-ficolin: three promoter polymorphisms (at positions -986, -602 and -4) which affect serum L-ficolin concentration, and two non-synonymous polymorphisms (Thr236Met and Ala258Ser) which influence carbohydrate binding. We studied the frequencies of these polymorphisms in individuals with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and a control group. Although the five FCN2 polymorphisms were each present in the UK Caucasian population studied, no significant associations were observed between the FCN2 polymorphisms and susceptibility to IPD. This is in contrast to mannose-binding lectin deficiency, which we have previously shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to IPD. Although we are unable to exclude small effects of FCN2 genetic variation on susceptibility to IPD, the result suggests that L-ficolin may not be critical for host defence against pneumococcal infection.
Article: The lectin pathway of complement activation is a critical component of the innate immune response to pneumococcal infection.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The complement system plays a key role in host defense against pneumococcal infection. Three different pathways, the classical, alternative and lectin pathways, mediate complement activation. While there is limited information available on the roles of the classical and the alternative activation pathways of complement in fighting streptococcal infection, little is known about the role of the lectin pathway, mainly due to the lack of appropriate experimental models of lectin pathway deficiency. We have recently established a mouse strain deficient of the lectin pathway effector enzyme mannan-binding lectin associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2) and shown that this mouse strain is unable to form the lectin pathway specific C3 and C5 convertases. Here we report that MASP-2 deficient mice (which can still activate complement via the classical pathway and the alternative pathway) are highly susceptible to pneumococcal infection and fail to opsonize Streptococcus pneumoniae in the none-immune host. This defect in complement opsonisation severely compromises pathogen clearance in the lectin pathway deficient host. Using sera from mice and humans with defined complement deficiencies, we demonstrate that mouse ficolin A, human L-ficolin, and collectin 11 in both species, but not mannan-binding lectin (MBL), are the pattern recognition molecules that drive lectin pathway activation on the surface of S. pneumoniae. We further show that pneumococcal opsonisation via the lectin pathway can proceed in the absence of C4. This study corroborates the essential function of MASP-2 in the lectin pathway and highlights the importance of MBL-independent lectin pathway activation in the host defense against pneumococci.PLoS Pathogens 07/2012; 8(7):e1002793. · 9.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The recognition molecules of the lectin complement pathway are mannose-binding lectin and Ficolin -1, -2 and -3. Recently deficiency of Ficolin-3 was found to be associated with life threatening infections. Thus, we aimed to develop a functional method based on the ELISA platform for evaluating Ficolin-3 mediated complement activation that could be applicable for research and clinical use. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was acetylated (acBSA) and chosen as a solid phase ligand for Ficolins in microtiter wells. Binding of Ficolins on acBSA was evaluated, as was functional complement activation assessed by C4, C3 and terminal complement complex (TCC) deposition. Serum Ficolin-3 bound to acBSA in a calcium dependent manner, while only minimal binding of Ficolin-2 and no binding of Ficolin-1 were observed. No binding to normal BSA was seen for any of the Ficolins. Serum C4, C3 and TCC deposition on acBSA were dependent only on Ficolin-3 in appropriate serum dilutions. Deposition of down stream complement components correlated highly significantly with the serum concentration of Ficolin-3 but not with Ficolin-2 in healthy donors. To make the assay robust for clinical use a chemical compound was applied to the samples that inhibited interference from the classical pathway due to the presence of anti-BSA antibodies in some sera. We describe a novel functional method for measuring complement activation mediated by Ficolin-3 in human serum up to the formation of TCC. The assay provides the possibility to diagnose functional and genetic defects of Ficolin-3 and down stream components in the lectin complement pathway.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(11):e15443. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Ficolin-2 levels and FCN2 haplotypes influence hepatitis B infection outcome in Vietnamese patients.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Human Ficolin-2 (L-ficolins) encoded by FCN2 gene is a soluble serum protein that plays an important role in innate immunity and is mainly expressed in the liver. Ficolin-2 serum levels and FCN2 single nucleotide polymorphisms were associated to several infectious diseases. We initially screened the complete FCN2 gene in 48 healthy individuals of Vietnamese ethnicity. We genotyped a Vietnamese cohort comprising of 423 clinically classified hepatitis B virus patients and 303 controls for functional single nucleotide polymorphisms in the promoter region (-986G>A, -602G>A, -4A>G) and in exon 8 (+6424G>T) by real-time PCR and investigated the contribution of FCN2 genotypes and haplotypes to serum Ficolin-2 levels, viral load and liver enzyme levels. Haplotypes differed significantly between patients and controls (P = 0.002) and the haplotype AGGG was found frequently in controls in comparison to patients with hepatitis B virus and hepatocellular carcinoma (P = 0.0002 and P<0.0001) conferring a protective effect. Ficolin-2 levels differed significantly between patients and controls (p<0.0001). Patients with acute hepatitis B had higher serum Ficolin-2 levels compared to other patient groups and controls.The viral load was observed to be significantly distributed among the haplotypes (P = 0.04) and the AAAG haplotype contributed to higher Ficolin-2 levels and to viral load. Four novel single nucleotide polymorphisms in introns (-941G>T, -310G>A, +2363G>A, +4882G>A) and one synonymous mutation in exon 8 (+6485G>T) was observed. Strong linkage was found between the variant -986G>A and -4A>G. The very first study on Vietnamese cohort associates both Ficolin-2 serum levels and FCN2 haplotypes to hepatitis B virus infection and subsequent disease progression.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e28113. · 4.09 Impact Factor