Complement is an essential part of the innate immune system, which clears pathogens without requirement for previous exposure, although it also greatly enhances the efficacy and response of the cellular and humoral immune systems. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the most recently identified human herpesvirus and the likely aetiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. We previously reported that the KSHV complement control protein (KCP) was expressed on infected cells and virions, and could inhibit complement through decay-accelerating activity (DAA) of the classical C3 convertase and cofactor activity (CFA) for factor I (FI)-mediated degradation of C4b and C3b, as well as acting as an attachment factor for binding to heparan sulphate on permissive cells. Here, we determined the ability of a panel of monoclonal anti-KCP antibodies to block KCP functions relative to their recognized epitopes, as determined through binding to recombinant KCP containing large (entire domain) or small (2-3 amino acid residue) alterations. One antibody recognizing complement control protein (CCP) domain 1 blocked heparin binding, DAA and C4b CFA, but was poor at blocking C3b CFA, while a second antibody recognizing CCP4 blocked C3b CFA and 80% DAA, but not C4b CFA or heparan sulphate binding. Two antibodies recognizing CCP2 and CCP3 were capable of blocking C3b and C4b CFA and heparan sulphate binding, but only one could inhibit DAA. These results show that, while KCP is a multifunctional protein, these activities do not completely overlap and can be isolated through incubation with monoclonal antibodies.
This work was funded as part of the Career Development Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust and the Tom Owen bequest fund (OBS). Support was also provided through project grants from Cancer Research UK (C7934 to DJB and OBS), the Swedish Research Council (AB), Cancerfonden (AB) and the American Cancer Society (AB).
- Complement control protein domains
- Complement inhibition
- Human herpesvirus (HHV)-8
- Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus