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Molecular mechanisms of complement activation and regulation

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The complement system is an integral part of the innate immune defense in mammals. Complement is formed by ~30 large multi-domain plasma proteins and cell-surface receptors. This system enables to host to recognize, lyse and clear invading microbes and altered host cells from blood and interstitial fluids, while protecting healthy host tissue. Through structural studies we have revealed the molecular mechanisms responsible for the central amplification steps, the host protection by complement regulators and the initial events in formation of the membrane-attack complex (MAC). I will discuss the structural mechanisms, which involve large structural rearrangements due to an interplay of proteolysis and complex formation.

This talk is part of the MRC LMB Seminar list series.

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