Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The complement system is a key component of innate and adaptive immune responses. Complement regulation is critical for prevention and control of disease. We have determined the crystal structure of the complement regulatory enzyme human factor I (fI). FI is in a proteolytically inactive form, demonstrating that it circulates in a zymogen-like state despite being fully processed to the mature sequence. Mapping of functional data from mutants of fI onto the structure suggests that this inactive form is maintained by the noncatalytic heavy-chain allosterically modulating activity of the light chain. Once the ternary complex of fI, a cofactor and a substrate is formed, the allosteric inhibition is released, and fI is oriented for cleavage. In addition to explaining how circulating fI is limited to cleaving only C3b/C4b, our model explains the molecular basis of disease-associated polymorphisms in fI and its cofactors.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





12839 - 12844


Allosteric Regulation, Binding Sites, Catalytic Domain, Complement C3b, Complement C4b, Complement Factor I, Crystallization, Crystallography, X-Ray, Enzyme Precursors, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Glycosylation, Humans, Models, Molecular, Mutation, Polymorphism, Genetic, Protein Binding, Protein Structure, Tertiary