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Alternative Complement Pathway

This image is a scaled-down version of the actual pathway image. It does not contain any links to the protein information pages.


The complement system refers to a series of proteins circulating in the blood and bathing the fluids surrounding tissues. The proteins circulate in an inactive form, but in response to the recognition of molecular components of microorganism, they become sequentially activated, working in a cascade where in the binding of one protein promotes the binding of the next protein in the cascade. There are 3 complement pathways that make up the complement system: the classical complement pathway, the lectin pathway, and the alternative complement pathway. The pathways differ in the manner in which they are activated and ultimately produce a key enzyme called C3 convertase (Ref.1).

The alternative complement pathway constitutes the humoral component of natural defence against infections, [...]


1.Evolution of complement as an effector system in innate and adaptive immunity.
Sunyer JO, Boshra H, Lorenzo G, Parra D, Freedman B, Bosch N.
Immunol Res. 2003;27(2-3):549-64.
2.Gangliosides can activate human alternative complement pathway.
Oshima H, Soma G, Mizuno D.
Int Immunol. 1993 Oct;5(10):1349-51.
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