Claudio Cortes

University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, United States

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Publications (20)66.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Elevated numbers of activated platelets circulate in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis and coronary disease. Activated platelets can activate the complement system. Although complement activation is essential for immune responses and removal of spent cells from circulation, it also contributes to inflammation and thrombosis, especially in patients with defective complement regulation. Proinflammatory activated leukocytes, which interact directly with platelets in response to vascular injury, are among the main sources of properdin, a positive regulator of the alternative pathway. The role of properdin in complement activation on stimulated platelets is unknown. Our data show that physiological forms of human properdin bind directly to human platelets after activation by strong agonists in the absence of C3, and bind nonproportionally to surface CD62P expression. Activation of the alternative pathway on activated platelets occurs when properdin is on the surface and recruits C3b or C3(H2O) to form C3b,Bb or a novel cell-bound C3 convertase [C3(H2O),Bb], which normally is present only in the fluid phase. Alternatively, properdin can be recruited by C3(H2O) on the platelet surface, promoting complement activation. Inhibition of factor H-mediated cell surface complement regulation significantly increases complement deposition on activated platelets with surface properdin. Finally, properdin released by activated neutrophils binds to activated platelets. Altogether, these data suggest novel molecular mechanisms for alternative pathway activation on stimulated platelets that may contribute to localization of inflammation at sites of vascular injury and thrombosis.
    The Journal of Immunology 05/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Factor H (fH) is an endogenous negative regulator of the alternative pathway (AP) that binds polyanions as well as complement activation fragments C3b and C3d. The AP is both necessary and sufficient to develop collagen Ab-induced arthritis (CAIA) in mice; the mechanisms whereby normal control of the AP is overcome and injury develops are unknown. Although primarily a soluble circulating protein, fH can also bind to tissues in a manner dependent on the carboxyl-terminal domain containing short consensus repeats 19 and 20. We examined the role of fH in CAIA by blocking its binding to tissues through administration of a recombinant negative inhibitor containing short consensus repeats 19 and 20 (rfH19-20), which impairs fH function and amplifies surface AP activation in vitro. Administration of rfH19-20, but not control rfH3-5, significantly worsened clinical disease activity, histopathologic injury, and C3 deposition in the synovium and cartilage in wild-type and fH(+/-) mice. In vitro studies demonstrated that rfH19-20 increased complement activation on cartilage extracts and injured fibroblast-like synoviocytes, two major targets of complement deposition in the joint. We conclude that endogenous fH makes a significant contribution to inhibition of the AP in CAIA through binding to sites of immune complex formation and complement activation.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Properdin, the only positive regulatory protein of the complement system, acts as both a stabilizer of the alternative pathway (AP) convertases and as a selective pattern recognition molecule of certain microorganisms and host cells (i.e., apoptotic/necrotic cells) by serving as a platform for de novo C3b,Bb assembly. Properdin, a highly positively charged protein, normally exists as cyclic dimers (P(2)), trimers (P(3)), and tetramers (P(4)) of head-to-tail associations of monomeric 53 kDa subunits. While most complement proteins are produced mainly in the liver, properdin is synthesized primarily by various cell types, including neutrophils, monocytes, primary T cells, and shear-stressed endothelial cells resulting in properdin serum levels of 4-25 μg/ml. Multiple inflammatory agonists stimulate the release of properdin from stimulated leukocytes into the cellular microenvironment. Concentrated, focused increases in properdin levels may lead to stabilization and initiation of AP convertases, thus greatly amplifying the complement response to a local stimulus. This review highlights current knowledge related to these properties and discusses the implications of properdin production in a pro-inflammatory microenvironment.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2012; 3:412.
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of the alternative pathway of complement plays a critical role in the development of allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and inflammation in mice. Endogenous factor H, a potent inhibitor of the alternative pathway, is increased in the airways of sensitized and challenged mice, but its role in regulating inflammation or AHR has been unknown. We found that blocking the tissue-binding function of factor H with a competitive antagonist increased complement activation and tissue inflammation after allergen challenge of sensitized mice. Conversely, administration of a fusion protein that contains the iC3b/C3d binding region of complement receptor 2 linked to the inhibitory region of factor H, a molecule directly targeting complement-activating surfaces, protected mice in both primary and secondary challenge models of AHR and lung inflammation. Thus, although endogenous factor H does play a role in limiting the development of AHR, strategies to deliver the complement-regulatory region of factor H specifically to the site of inflammation provide greater protection than that afforded by endogenous regulators. Such an agent may be an effective therapy for the treatment of asthma.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2011; 188(2):661-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Factor H is a regulator of the alternative pathway of complement, and genetic studies have shown that patients with mutations in factor H are at increased risk for several types of renal disease. Pathogenic activation of the alternative pathway in acquired diseases, such as ischemic acute kidney injury, suggests that native factor H has a limited capacity to control the alternative pathway in the kidney. Here we found that an absolute deficiency of factor H produced by gene deletion prevented complement activation on tubulointerstitial cells after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, likely because alternative pathway proteins were consumed in the fluid phase. In contrast, when fluid-phase regulation by factor H was maintained while the interaction of factor H with cell surfaces was blocked by a recombinant inhibitor protein, complement activation after renal I/R increased. Finally, a recombinant form of factor H, specifically targeted to sites of C3 deposition, reduced complement activation in the tubulointerstitium after ischemic injury. Thus, although factor H does not fully prevent activation of the alternative pathway of complement on ischemic tubules, its interaction with the tubule epithelial cell surface is critical for limiting complement activation and attenuating renal injury after ischemia.
    Kidney International 05/2011; 80(2):165-73. · 7.92 Impact Factor
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    Claudio Cortes, V P Ferreira, Michael K Pangburn
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of complement represents one means of natural resistance to infection from a wide variety of potential pathogens. Recently, properdin, a positive regulator of the alternative pathway of complement, has been shown to bind to surfaces and promote complement activation. Here we studied whether properdin-mediated complement activation occurs on the surface of Chlamydia pneumoniae, an obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes 10 to 20% of community-acquired pneumonia. We have determined for the first time that the physiological P₂, P₃, and P₄ forms of human properdin bind to the surface of Chlamydia pneumoniae directly. The binding of these physiological forms accelerates complement activation on the Chlamydia pneumoniae surface, as measured by C3b and C9 deposition. Finally, properdin-depleted serum could not control Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of HEp-2 cells compared with normal human serum. However, after addition of native properdin, the properdin-depleted serum recovered the ability to control the infection. Altogether, our data suggest that properdin is a pattern recognition molecule that plays a role in resistance to Chlamydia infection.
    Infection and immunity 02/2011; 79(2):724-31. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Congenital and acquired deficiencies of complement regulatory proteins are associated with pathologic complement activation in several renal diseases. To elucidate the mechanisms by which renal tubular epithelial cells (TECs) control the complement system, we examined the expression of complement regulatory proteins by the cells. We found that Crry is the only membrane-bound complement regulator expressed by murine TECs, and its expression is concentrated on the basolateral surface. Consistent with the polarized localization of Crry, less complement activation was observed when the basolateral surface of TECs was exposed to serum than when the apical surface was exposed. Furthermore, greater complement activation occurred when the basolateral surface of TECs from Crry(-/-)fB(-/-) mice was exposed to normal serum compared with TECs from wild-type mice. Complement activation on the apical and basolateral surfaces was also greater when factor H, an alternative pathway regulatory protein found in serum, was blocked from interacting with the cells. Finally, we injected Crry(-/-)fB(-/-) and Crry(+/+)fB(-/-) mice with purified factor B (an essential protein of the alternative pathway). Spontaneous complement activation was seen on the tubules of Crry(-/-)fB(-/-) mice after injection with factor B, and the mice developed acute tubular injury. These studies indicate that factor H and Crry regulate complement activation on the basolateral surface of TECs and that factor H regulates complement activation on the apical surface. However, congenital deficiency of Crry or reduced expression of the protein on the basolateral surface of injured cells permits spontaneous complement activation and tubular injury.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2010; 185(5):3086-94. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The complement system is an essential component of the innate immune system that participates in elimination of pathogens and altered host cells and comprises an essential link between the innate and adaptive immune system. Soluble and membrane-bound complement regulators protect cells and tissues from unintended complement-mediated injury. Complement factor H is a soluble complement regulator essential for controlling the alternative pathway in blood and on cell surfaces. Normal recognition of self-cell markers (i.e. polyanions) and C3b/C3d fragments is necessary for factor H function. Inadequate recognition of host cell surfaces by factor H due to mutations and polymorphisms have been associated with complement-mediated tissue damage and disease. On the other hand, unwanted recognition of pathogens and altered self-cells (i.e. cancer) by factor H is used as an immune evasion strategy. This review will focus on the current knowledge related to these versatile recognition properties of factor H.
    Molecular Immunology 08/2010; 47(13):2187-97. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Properdin, a positive regulator of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement is important in innate immune defenses against invasive neisserial infections. Recently, commercially available unfractionated properdin was shown to bind to certain biological surfaces, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which facilitated C3 deposition. Unfractionated properdin contains aggregates or high-order oligomers, in addition to its physiological "native" (dimeric, trimeric, and tetrameric) forms. We examined the role of properdin in AP activation on diverse strains of Neisseria meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae specifically using native versus unfractionated properdin. C3 deposition on Neisseria decreased markedly when properdin function was blocked using an anti-properdin mAb or when properdin was depleted from serum. Maximal AP-mediated C3 deposition on Neisseriae even at high (80%) serum concentrations required properdin. Consistent with prior observations, preincubation of bacteria with unfractionated properdin, followed by the addition of properdin-depleted serum resulted in higher C3 deposition than when bacteria were incubated with properdin-depleted serum alone. Unexpectedly, none of 10 Neisserial strains tested bound native properdin. Consistent with its inability to bind to Neisseriae, preincubating bacteria with native properdin followed by the addition of properdin-depleted serum did not cause detectable increases in C3 deposition. However, reconstituting properdin-depleted serum with native properdin a priori enhanced C3 deposition on all strains of Neisseria tested. In conclusion, the physiological forms of properdin do not bind directly to either N. meningitidis or N. gonorrhoeae but play a crucial role in augmenting AP-dependent C3 deposition on the bacteria through the "conventional" mechanism of stabilizing AP C3 convertases.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2010; 185(1):507-16. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Properdin, a positive regulator of the complement system, has recently been reported to bind to certain pathogenic microorganisms, to early or late apoptotic and necrotic cells, and to particular live human cell lines, thus providing a platform for de novo convertase assembly and complement activation. These studies, with some contradictory results, have been carried out with purified properdin, which forms a series of oligomers of a ∼53,000 Mr subunit, assembling into dimers (P₂), trimers (P₃), tetramers (P₄) and higher forms (P(n)). The P(n) forms have been shown to likely be an artefact of purification that results from procedures including freeze-thawing of properdin. In this study we isolated the individual natural forms of properdin (P₂, P₃, and P₄) and separated them from the P(n) forms present in purified frozen properdin using ion exchange and/or size exclusion chromatography. We analyzed the ability of each form to bind to live or necrotic Jurkat and Raji cells, rabbit erythrocytes (E(R)), and zymosan by FACS analysis. While the unseparated properdin and the purified P(n) forms bound to all the surfaces except E(R), the physiological P₂-P₄ forms specifically bound only to zymosan and to necrotic nucleated cells. Our results indicate that aggregated P(n) present in unseparated properdin may bind non-specifically to some surfaces and should be separated before analysis in order to obtain meaningful results. Finally, we have determined for the first time that the physiological forms of human properdin can selectively recognize surfaces and enhance or promote complement activation, which is in agreement with the reported role for properdin as a complement initiator.
    Immunobiology 02/2010; 215(11):932-40. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Factor H (fH) is essential for complement homeostasis in fluid-phase and on surfaces. Its two C-terminal domains (CCP 19-20) anchor fH to self-surfaces where it prevents C3b amplification in a process requiring its N-terminal four domains. In atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), mutations clustering toward the C terminus of fH may disrupt interactions with surface-associated C3b or polyanions and thereby diminish the ability of fH to regulate complement. To test this, we compared a recombinant protein encompassing CCP 19-20 with 16 mutants. The mutations had only very limited and localized effects on protein structure. Although we found four aHUS-linked fH mutations that decreased binding to C3b and/or to heparin (a model compound for cell surface polyanionic carbohydrates), we identified five aHUS-associated mutants with increased affinity for either or both ligands. Strikingly, these variable affinities for the individual ligands did not correlate with the extent to which all the aHUS-associated mutants were found to be impaired in a more physiological assay that measured their ability to inhibit cell surface complement functions of full-length fH. Taken together, our data suggest that disruption of a complex fH-self-surface recognition process, involving a balance of affinities for protein and physiological carbohydrate ligands, predisposes to aHUS.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2009; 182(11):7009-18. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Factor H is the primary soluble regulator of activation of the alternative pathway of complement. It prevents activation of complement on host cells and tissues upon association with C3b and surface polyanions such as sialic acids, heparin, and other glycosaminoglycans. Here we show that interaction with polyanions causes self-association forming tetramers of the 155,000 Da glycosylated protein. Monomeric human factor H is an extended flexible protein that exhibits an apparent size of 330,000 Da, relative to globular standards, during gel filtration chromatography in the absence of polyanions. In the presence of dextran sulfate (5000 Da) or heparin an intermediate species of apparent m.w. 700,000 and a limit species of m.w. 1,400,000 were observed by gel filtration. Sedimentation equilibrium analysis by analytical ultracentrifugation indicated a monomer Mr of 163,000 in the absence of polyanions and a Mr of 607,000, corresponding to a tetramer, in the presence of less than a 2-fold molar excess of dextran sulfate. Increasing concentrations of dextran sulfate increased binding of factor H to zymosan-C3b 4.5-fold. This result was accompanied by an increase in both the decay accelerating and cofactor activity of factor H on these cells. An expressed fragment encompassing the C-terminal polyanion binding site (complement control protein domains 18-20) also exhibited polyanion-induced self-association, suggesting that the C-terminal ends of factor H mediate self-association. The results suggest that recognition of polyanionic markers on host cells and tissues by factor H, and the resulting regulation of complement activation, may involve formation of dimers and tetramers of factor H.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2009; 182(2):1061-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Immunology - MOL IMMUNOL. 01/2009; 46(14):2826-2826.
  • Molecular Immunology - MOL IMMUNOL. 01/2009; 46(14):2851-2851.
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    ABSTRACT: Pathogen-specific complement activation requires direct recognition of pathogens and/or the absence of complement control mechanisms on their surfaces. Antibodies direct complement activation to potential pathogens recognized by the cellular innate and adaptive immune systems. Similarly, the plasma proteins MBL and ficolins direct activation to microorganisms expressing common carbohydrate structures. The absence of complement control proteins permits amplification of complement by the alternative pathway on any unprotected surface. The importance of complement recognition molecules (MBL, ficolins, factor H, C3, C1q, properdin, and others) to human disease are becoming clear as analysis of genetic data and knock out animals reveals links between complement proteins and specific diseases.
    Vaccine 01/2009; 26 Suppl 8:I15-21. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chlamydia infections constitute a major public health problem. Although multiple arms of the immune system participate in the control of Chlamydia in infected hosts, T lymphocytes are essential. This review focuses on the roles that CD8(+)T cells may play in immunoprotection and immunopathology following recognition of Chlamydia-infected cells.
    Microbes and Infection 09/2008; 10(14-15):1420-30. · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Immunology - MOL IMMUNOL. 01/2008; 45(16):4099-4099.
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    ABSTRACT: Chlamydiae are intracellular bacteria that develop within a membrane-bound vacuole called an inclusion. To ensure that the inclusion is a safe niche for chlamydial replication, chlamydiae exploit a number of host cell processes, including membrane-trafficking pathways. Recently, several Rab GTPases were found to associate with the inclusions of various chlamydial species. Here we report that Cpn0585, a Chlamydia pneumoniae inclusion membrane protein (Inc), interacts with multiple Rab GTPases. The results from yeast two-hybrid experiments revealed that an amino-terminally truncated form of Cpn0585 (Cpn0585(102-651)) interacts with Rab1, Rab10, and Rab11 but not with Rab4 or Rab6. Cpn0585-Rab GTPase interactions are direct and GTP dependent as shown in glutathione S-transferase pull-down assays using native and recombinant Cpn0585. In C. pneumoniae-infected HEp-2 cells transfected with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged Rab GTPases, the colocalization with Cpn0585 at the inclusion membrane was partial for EGFP-Rab1 and EGFP-Rab10, but extensive for wild-type EGFP-Rab11A and the constitutively active GTPase-deficient EGFP-Rab11AQ70L. Moreover, Cpn0585 colocalized with EGFP-Rab11AQ70L as early as 2 h postinfection. Upon delivery into live C. pneumoniae-infected cells, Cpn0585(628-651)-specific antibodies bound to the inclusion membrane, demonstrating that the Rab GTPase-interacting domain of Cpn0585 faces the host cell cytosol. Finally, ectopic expression of Cpn0585(102-651) partially inhibited the development of C. pneumoniae inclusions in EGFP. but not in EGFP-Rab11AQ70L-expressing HEp-2 cells. Collectively, these data suggest that Cpn0585 is involved in the recruitment of Rab GTPases to the inclusion membrane and that interfering with this function may adversely impact the fitness of the C. pneumoniae inclusion for chlamydial replication.
    Infection and immunity 01/2008; 75(12):5586-96. · 4.21 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Immunology - MOL IMMUNOL. 01/2008; 45(16):4111-4111.
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Publication Stats

264 Citations
66.84 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2012
    • University of Toledo
      • Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
      Toledo, OH, United States
    • Medical University of Ohio at Toledo
      • Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
      Toledo, Ohio, United States
  • 2010–2011
    • University of Colorado
      • Department of Medicine
      Denver, CO, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
      Tyler, Texas, United States
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Ithaca, New York, United States
  • 2009
    • The University of Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom