His-384 allotypic variant of factor H associated with age-related macular degeneration has different heparin binding properties from the non-disease-associated form.
Clark SJ., Higman VA., Mulloy B., Perkins SJ., Lea SM., Sim RB., Day AJ.
A polymorphism in complement factor H has recently been associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. A histidine rather than a tyrosine at residue position 384 in the mature protein increases the risk of AMD. Here, using a recombinant construct, we show that amino acid 384 is adjacent to a heparin-binding site in CCP7 of factor H and demonstrate that the allotypic variants differentially recognize heparin. This functional alteration may affect binding of factor H to polyanionic patterns on host surfaces, potentially influencing complement activation, immune complex clearance, and inflammation in the macula of AMD patients.