A C-Type Lectin Collaborates with a CD45 Phosphatase Homolog to Facilitate West Nile Virus Infection of Mosquitoes
Human mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is a serum protein of the innate immune system that circulates as a complex with a group of so-called MBL-associated serine proteases (MASP-1, MASP-2, and MASP-3). Complexes of MBL-MASP2 are able to activate the complement system in an Ab and C1-independent fashion after binding of the lectin to appropriate microbial sugar arrays. We have evaluated the additive effect of the lectin pathway relative to other complement activation pathways and the subsequent effect on neutrophil phagocytosis. Complement activation in the sera of MBL-deficient individuals was studied with and without the addition of exogenous MBL-MASP. Flow cytometry was used to measure the deposition of C4, factor B, C3b, and iC3b on Staphylococcus aureus. Deposition of the first cleavage product of the lectin pathway, C4b, was increased using the sera of three different MBL-deficient individuals when exogenous MBL-MASP was added. Factor B was deposited in association with C4, but there was no evidence of independent alternative pathway activation. Similar enhancement of C3b deposition was also observed, with evidence of elevated amounts of C3b processed to iC3b. The increase in opsonic C3 fragments mediated by MBL was associated with a significant increase in the uptake of organisms by neutrophils. We also observed significant increases in phagocytosis with MBL-MASPs that were independent of complement activation. We conclude that MBL-MASP makes a major contribution to complement-mediated host defense mechanisms.