Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

On the functional overlap between complement and anti-microbial peptides

Stover, Cordula M.; Hobkirk, James; Browning, Michael J.; Mohamed, Fatima; Zimmer, Jana


Cordula M. Stover

Profile Image

Dr James Hobkirk
Lecturer in Physiology & Pathophysiology & Honorary Medical Scientist

Michael J. Browning

Fatima Mohamed

Jana Zimmer


Intriguingly, activated complement and anti-microbial peptides share certain functionalities; lytic, phagocytic, and chemo-attractant activities and each may, in addition, exert cell instructive roles. Each has been shown to have distinct LPS detoxifying activity and may play a role in the development of endotoxin tolerance. In search of the origin of complement, a functional homolog of complement C₃ involved in opsonization has been identified in horseshoe crabs. Horseshoe crabs possess anti-microbial peptides able to bind to acyl chains or phosphate groups/saccharides of endotoxin, LPS. Complement activity as a whole is detectable in marine invertebrates. These are also a source of anti-microbial peptides with potential pharmaceutical applicability. Investigating the locality for the production of complement pathway proteins and their role in modulating cellular immune responses are emerging fields. The significance of local synthesis of complement components is becoming clearer from in vivo studies of parenchymatous disease involving specifically generated, complement-deficient mouse lines. Complement C₃ is a central component of complement activation. Its provision by cells of the myeloid lineage varies. Their effector functions in turn are increased in the presence of anti-microbial peptides. This may point to a potentiating range of activities, which should serve the maintenance of health but may also cause disease. Because of the therapeutic implications, this review will consider closely studies dealing with complement activation and anti-microbial peptide activity in acute inflammation (e.g., dialysis-related peritonitis, appendicitis, and ischemia).


Stover, C. M., Hobkirk, J., Browning, M. J., Mohamed, F., & Zimmer, J. (2015). On the functional overlap between complement and anti-microbial peptides. Frontiers in immunology, 5(JAN), Article 689.

Acceptance Date Dec 22, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 19, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 8, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2016
Journal Frontiers in immunology
Electronic ISSN 1664-3224
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue JAN
Article Number 689
Keywords Immune cells; Innate immunity; Histidine tag; Deficiencies; Acute inflammation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a copy of an open access article published in Frontiers in immunology, 2015, v.19 issue 5.
Contract Date Feb 8, 2016


Article.pdf (812 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2015 Zimmer, Hobkirk, Mohamed, Browning and Stover. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations