Complement System

The complement system is made up of a large number of distinct plasma proteins that react with one another to opsonize pathogens and induce a series of inflammatory responses that help to fight infection. A number of complement proteins are proteases that are themselves activated by proteolytic cleavage. Such enzymes are called zymogens and were first found in the gut. The digestive enzyme pepsin, for example, is stored inside cells and secreted as an inactive precursor enzyme, pepsinogen, which is only cleaved to pepsin in the acid environment of the stomach. The advantage to the host of not being auto digested is obvious.

The complement system is a biochemical cascade of the immune system that helps, or “complements”, the ability of antibodies to clear pathogens or mark them for destruction by other cells. The cascade is composed of many plasma proteins, synthesised in the liver, primarily by hepatocytes.

  • Role of Complement system in Innate Immunity
  • Different Pathways of Complement System and its Activation

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