Complement System and Fc Receptors: Genetics


The complement system is a key component of the innate immune system that is involved in eliminating unwanted self and nonself material via cellular and humoral mechanisms. Complement receptors and Fc receptors, expressed on effector cells, have a synergistic role in antibody‚Äźmediated immune modulation and antigen clearance.

Keywords: complement; Fc receptors; innate immunity; phagocytosis; antibodies

Figure 1.

Activation of the complement system via three pathways. Enzymatic action is indicated by a filled arrow. C3 convertases are shown in a shaded box. Cleavage of C5 into C5a and C5b takes place by the C5 convertases, which consist of a complex of C3 convertases with C3b. The release of soluble mediators (C4a, C2b, C3a, Ba, C5a) is indicated with small arrows. Activator‐bound complement components and released soluble products can interact with multiple cell surface receptors, as indicated in Table .

Figure 2.

Structure of Fc receptors (FcR).


Further Reading

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Davis RS, Yui‐Hsi Wang Y‐H, Kubagawa H and Cooper MD (2001) Identification of a family of Fc receptor homologs with preferential B cell expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98: 9772–9777.

Holers VM (2000) Phenotypes of complement knockouts. Immunopharmacology 49: 125–131.

Hulett MD and Hogarth PM (1994) Molecular basis of Fc receptor function. Advances in Immunology 57: 1–127.

Linton S (2001) Animal models of inherited complement deficiency. Molecular Biotechnology 18: 135–148.

Morley BJ and Walport MJ (eds.) (2000) The Complement Factsbook. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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Ravetch JV and Bolland S (2001) IgG Fc receptors. Annual Reviews in Immunology 19: 275–290.

Rother K, Till GO and Hänsch GM (eds.) (1998) The Complement System. Heidelberg: Springer‐Verlag.

Schneider PM and Rittner C (1997) Complement genetics. In: Dodds AW, Sim RB (eds.) Complement. A Practical Approach, pp. 165–198. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Schneider PM, Rittner C, Mauff G and Würzner R (eds.) (1998) Experimental and clinical immunogenetics. Proceedings of the Complement Genetics Workshop and Conference, Mainz 15: 201–296.

Shibuya A, Sakamoto N, Shimizu Y, et al. (2000) Fcα/µ receptor mediates endocytosis of IgM‐coated microbes. Nature Immunology 1: 441–446.

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Van der Pol WL and van de Winkel JGJ (1998) IgG receptor polymorphisms: risk factors for disease. Immunogenetics 48: 222–232.

Verbeek JS, Hazenbos WLW, Capel PJA and van de Winkel JGJ (1997) The role of FcR in Immunity: lessons from gene targeting in mice. Research in Immunology 148: 466–474.

Volanakis JE (1995) Transcriptional regulation of complement genes. Annual Reviews of Immunology 13: 277–305.

Volanakis JE and Frank MM (eds.) (1998) The Human Complement System in Health and Disease New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Walport MJ (2001) Complement. First of two parts. New England Journal of Medicine 344: 1058–1066.

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van de Winkel JGJ and Hogarth MP (eds.) (1998) The Immunoglobulin Receptors and their Physiological and Pathological Roles in Immunity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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Roos, Anja, Trouw, Leendert A, Ioan‐Facsinay, Andreea, Daha, Mohamed R, and Verbeek, J Sjef(Jan 2006) Complement System and Fc Receptors: Genetics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005992]