Complement C3: A glycoprotein that is central in both the classical and the alternative pathway of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. C3 can be cleaved into COMPLEMENT C3A and COMPLEMENT C3B, spontaneously at low level or by C3 CONVERTASE at high level. The smaller fragment C3a is an ANAPHYLATOXIN and mediator of local inflammatory process. The larger fragment C3b binds with C3 convertase to form C5 convertase.Complement C3-C5 Convertases: Serine proteases that cleave COMPLEMENT C3 into COMPLEMENT C3A and COMPLEMENT C3B, or cleave COMPLEMENT C5 into COMPLEMENT C5A and COMPLEMENT C5B. These include the different forms of C3/C5 convertases in the classical and the alternative pathways of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. Both cleavages take place at the C-terminal of an ARGININE residue.Proprotein Convertases: Proteolytic enzymes that are involved in the conversion of protein precursors such as peptide prohormones into PEPTIDE HORMONES. Some are ENDOPEPTIDASES, some are EXOPEPTIDASES.Complement Pathway, Alternative: Complement activation initiated by the interaction of microbial ANTIGENS with COMPLEMENT C3B. When COMPLEMENT FACTOR B binds to the membrane-bound C3b, COMPLEMENT FACTOR D cleaves it to form alternative C3 CONVERTASE (C3BBB) which, stabilized by COMPLEMENT FACTOR P, is able to cleave multiple COMPLEMENT C3 to form alternative C5 CONVERTASE (C3BBB3B) leading to cleavage of COMPLEMENT C5 and the assembly of COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX.Complement C4: A glycoprotein that is important in the activation of CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. C4 is cleaved by the activated COMPLEMENT C1S into COMPLEMENT C4A and COMPLEMENT C4B.Complement Activation: The sequential activation of serum COMPLEMENT PROTEINS to create the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Factors initiating complement activation include ANTIGEN-ANTIBODY COMPLEXES, microbial ANTIGENS, or cell surface POLYSACCHARIDES.Complement C3b: The larger fragment generated from the cleavage of COMPLEMENT C3 by C3 CONVERTASE. It is a constituent of the ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE (C3bBb), and COMPLEMENT C5 CONVERTASES in both the classical (C4b2a3b) and the alternative (C3bBb3b) pathway. C3b participates in IMMUNE ADHERENCE REACTION and enhances PHAGOCYTOSIS. It can be inactivated (iC3b) or cleaved by various proteases to yield fragments such as COMPLEMENT C3C; COMPLEMENT C3D; C3e; C3f; and C3g.Complement Factor B: A glycine-rich, heat-labile serum glycoprotein that contains a component of the C3 CONVERTASE ALTERNATE PATHWAY (C3bBb). Bb, a serine protease, is generated when factor B is cleaved by COMPLEMENT FACTOR D into Ba and Bb.Complement C4a: The smaller fragment formed when complement C4 is cleaved by COMPLEMENT C1S. It is an anaphylatoxin that causes symptoms of immediate hypersensitivity (HYPERSENSITIVITY, IMMEDIATE) but its activity is weaker than that of COMPLEMENT C3A or COMPLEMENT C5A.Complement C5: C5 plays a central role in both the classical and the alternative pathway of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. C5 is cleaved by C5 CONVERTASE into COMPLEMENT C5A and COMPLEMENT C5B. The smaller fragment C5a is an ANAPHYLATOXIN and mediator of inflammatory process. The major fragment C5b binds to the membrane initiating the spontaneous assembly of the late complement components, C5-C9, into the MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX.Complement C3a: The smaller fragment generated from the cleavage of complement C3 by C3 CONVERTASE. C3a, a 77-amino acid peptide, is a mediator of local inflammatory process. It induces smooth MUSCLE CONTRACTION, and HISTAMINE RELEASE from MAST CELLS and LEUKOCYTES. C3a is considered an anaphylatoxin along with COMPLEMENT C4A; COMPLEMENT C5A; and COMPLEMENT C5A, DES-ARGININE.Complement C1q: A subcomponent of complement C1, composed of six copies of three polypeptide chains (A, B, and C), each encoded by a separate gene (C1QA; C1QB; C1QC). This complex is arranged in nine subunits (six disulfide-linked dimers of A and B, and three disulfide-linked homodimers of C). C1q has binding sites for antibodies (the heavy chain of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G or IMMUNOGLOBULIN M). The interaction of C1q and immunoglobulin activates the two proenzymes COMPLEMENT C1R and COMPLEMENT C1S, thus initiating the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION via the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY.Complement System Proteins: Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION that creates the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; and LECTIN COMPLEMENT PATHWAY).Furin: A proprotein convertase with specificity for the proproteins of PROALBUMIN; COMPLEMENT 3C; and VON WILLEBRAND FACTOR. It has specificity for cleavage near paired ARGININE residues that are separated by two amino acids.Proprotein Convertase 2: A serine endopeptidase that has specificity for cleavage at ARGININE. It cleaves a variety of prohormones including PRO-OPIOMELANOCORTIN, proluteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone, proenkephalins, prodynorphin, and PROINSULIN.Complement Pathway, Classical: Complement activation initiated by the binding of COMPLEMENT C1 to ANTIGEN-ANTIBODY COMPLEXES at the COMPLEMENT C1Q subunit. This leads to the sequential activation of COMPLEMENT C1R and COMPLEMENT C1S subunits. Activated C1s cleaves COMPLEMENT C4 and COMPLEMENT C2 forming the membrane-bound classical C3 CONVERTASE (C4B2A) and the subsequent C5 CONVERTASE (C4B2A3B) leading to cleavage of COMPLEMENT C5 and the assembly of COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX.Complement C2: A component of the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. C2 is cleaved by activated COMPLEMENT C1S into COMPLEMENT C2B and COMPLEMENT C2A. C2a, the COOH-terminal fragment containing a SERINE PROTEASE, combines with COMPLEMENT C4B to form C4b2a (CLASSICAL PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE) and subsequent C4b2a3b (CLASSICAL PATHWAY C5 CONVERTASE).Complement C4b: The large fragment formed when COMPLEMENT C4 is cleaved by COMPLEMENT C1S. The membrane-bound C4b binds COMPLEMENT C2A, a SERINE PROTEASE, to form C4b2a (CLASSICAL PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE) and subsequent C4b2a3b (CLASSICAL PATHWAY C5 CONVERTASE).Complement C5a: The minor fragment formed when C5 convertase cleaves C5 into C5a and COMPLEMENT C5B. C5a is a 74-amino-acid glycopeptide with a carboxy-terminal ARGININE that is crucial for its spasmogenic activity. Of all the complement-derived anaphylatoxins, C5a is the most potent in mediating immediate hypersensitivity (HYPERSENSITIVITY, IMMEDIATE), smooth MUSCLE CONTRACTION; HISTAMINE RELEASE; and migration of LEUKOCYTES to site of INFLAMMATION.Subtilisins: A family of SERINE ENDOPEPTIDASES isolated from Bacillus subtilis. EC 3.4.21.-Proprotein Convertase 1: A CALCIUM-dependent endopeptidase that has specificity for cleavage at ARGININE that is near paired basic residues. It cleaves a variety of prohormones including PRO-OPIOMELANOCORTIN; PRORENIN; proenkephalins; prodynorphin; prosomatostatin; and PROINSULIN.Complement C3 Convertase, Alternative Pathway: A serine protease that is the complex of COMPLEMENT C3B and COMPLEMENT FACTOR BB. It cleaves multiple COMPLEMENT C3 into COMPLEMENT C3A (anaphylatoxin) and COMPLEMENT C3B in the ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY.Complement Inactivator Proteins: Serum proteins that negatively regulate the cascade process of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. Uncontrolled complement activation and resulting cell lysis is potentially dangerous for the host. The complement system is tightly regulated by inactivators that accelerate the decay of intermediates and certain cell surface receptors.Complement C6: A 105-kDa serum glycoprotein with significant homology to the other late complement components, C7-C9. It is a polypeptide chain cross-linked by 32 disulfide bonds. C6 is the next complement component to bind to the membrane-bound COMPLEMENT C5B in the assembly of MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. It is encoded by gene C6.Complement C3d: A 302-amino-acid fragment in the alpha chain (672-1663) of C3b. It is generated when C3b is inactivated (iC3b) and its alpha chain is cleaved by COMPLEMENT FACTOR I into C3c, and C3dg (955-1303) in the presence COMPLEMENT FACTOR H. Serum proteases further degrade C3dg into C3d (1002-1303) and C3g (955-1001).Complement C3c: A 206-amino-acid fragment in the alpha chain (672-1663) of C3b. It is generated when C3b is inactivated (iC3b) and its alpha chain is cleaved by COMPLEMENT FACTOR I into C3c (749-954), and C3dg (955-1303) in the presence COMPLEMENT FACTOR H.Proprotein Convertase 5: A serine endopeptidase found primarily in the EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX. It has specificity for cleavage of a variety of substrates including PRORENIN, pro-membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase, and NEURAL CELL ADHESION MOLECULE L1.Complement Factor D: A serum protein which is important in the ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. This enzyme cleaves the COMPLEMENT C3B-bound COMPLEMENT FACTOR B to form C3bBb which is ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE.Receptors, Complement: Molecules on the surface of some B-lymphocytes and macrophages, that recognize and combine with the C3b, C3d, C1q, and C4b components of complement.Complement C9: A 63-kDa serum glycoprotein encoded by gene C9. Monomeric C9 (mC9) binds the C5b-8 complex to form C5b-9 which catalyzes the polymerization of C9 forming C5b-p9 (MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX) and transmembrane channels leading to lysis of the target cell. Patients with C9 deficiency suffer from recurrent bacterial infections.Properdin: A 53-kDa protein that is a positive regulator of the alternate pathway of complement activation (COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY, ALTERNATIVE). It stabilizes the ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE (C3bBb) and protects it from rapid inactivation, thus facilitating the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION and the formation of MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Individuals with mutation in the PFC gene exhibit properdin deficiency and have a high susceptibility to infections.Complement Factor H: An important soluble regulator of the alternative pathway of complement activation (COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY, ALTERNATIVE). It is a 139-kDa glycoprotein expressed by the liver and secreted into the blood. It binds to COMPLEMENT C3B and makes iC3b (inactivated complement 3b) susceptible to cleavage by COMPLEMENT FACTOR I. Complement factor H also inhibits the association of C3b with COMPLEMENT FACTOR B to form the C3bB proenzyme, and promotes the dissociation of Bb from the C3bBb complex (COMPLEMENT C3 CONVERTASE, ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY).Complement Activating Enzymes: Enzymes that activate one or more COMPLEMENT PROTEINS in the complement system leading to the formation of the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX, an important response in host defense. They are enzymes in the various COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION pathways.Complement Membrane Attack Complex: A product of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION cascade, regardless of the pathways, that forms transmembrane channels causing disruption of the target CELL MEMBRANE and cell lysis. It is formed by the sequential assembly of terminal complement components (COMPLEMENT C5B; COMPLEMENT C6; COMPLEMENT C7; COMPLEMENT C8; and COMPLEMENT C9) into the target membrane. The resultant C5b-8-poly-C9 is the "membrane attack complex" or MAC.Complement C1s: A 77-kDa subcomponent of complement C1, encoded by gene C1S, is a SERINE PROTEASE existing as a proenzyme (homodimer) in the intact complement C1 complex. Upon the binding of COMPLEMENT C1Q to antibodies, the activated COMPLEMENT C1R cleaves C1s into two chains, A (heavy) and B (light, the serine protease), linked by disulfide bonds yielding the active C1s. The activated C1s, in turn, cleaves COMPLEMENT C2 and COMPLEMENT C4 to form C4b2a (CLASSICAL C3 CONVERTASE).Complement C3-C5 Convertases, Alternative Pathway: Important enzymes in the ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. They cleave COMPLEMENT C3 and COMPLEMENT C5.Complement C7: A 93-kDa serum glycoprotein encoded by C7 gene. It is a polypeptide chain with 28 disulfide bridges. In the formation of MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX; C7 is the next component to bind the C5b-6 complex forming a trimolecular complex C5b-7 which is lipophilic, resembles an integral membrane protein, and serves as an anchor for the late complement components, C8 and C9.Complement C3b Inactivator Proteins: Endogenous proteins that inhibit or inactivate COMPLEMENT C3B. They include COMPLEMENT FACTOR H and COMPLEMENT FACTOR I (C3b/C4b inactivator). They cleave or promote the cleavage of C3b into inactive fragments, and thus are important in the down-regulation of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION and its cytolytic sequence.Complement C1: The first complement component to act in the activation of CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. It is a calcium-dependent trimolecular complex made up of three subcomponents: COMPLEMENT C1Q; COMPLEMENT C1R; and COMPLEMENT C1S at 1:2:2 ratios. When the intact C1 binds to at least two antibodies (involving C1q), C1r and C1s are sequentially activated, leading to subsequent steps in the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION.Complement C2a: The COOH-terminal fragment of COMPLEMENT 2, released by the action of activated COMPLEMENT C1S. It is a SERINE PROTEASE. C2a combines with COMPLEMENT C4B to form C4b2a (CLASSICAL PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE) and subsequent C4b2a3b (CLASSICAL PATHWAY C5 CONVERTASE).Complement C1r: A 80-kDa subcomponent of complement C1, existing as a SERINE PROTEASE proenzyme in the intact complement C1 complex. When COMPLEMENT C1Q is bound to antibodies, the changed tertiary structure causes autolytic activation of complement C1r which is cleaved into two chains, A (heavy) and B (light, the serine protease), connected by disulfide bonds. The activated C1r serine protease, in turn, activates COMPLEMENT C1S proenzyme by cleaving the Arg426-Ile427 bond. No fragment is released when either C1r or C1s is cleaved.Complement Hemolytic Activity Assay: A screening assay for circulating COMPLEMENT PROTEINS. Diluted SERUM samples are added to antibody-coated ERYTHROCYTES and the percentage of cell lysis is measured. The values are expressed by the so called CH50, in HEMOLYTIC COMPLEMENT units per milliliter, which is the dilution of serum required to lyse 50 percent of the erythrocytes in the assay.Antigens, CD55: GPI-linked membrane proteins broadly distributed among hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic cells. CD55 prevents the assembly of C3 CONVERTASE or accelerates the disassembly of preformed convertase, thus blocking the formation of the membrane attack complex.Complement Factor I: A plasma serine proteinase that cleaves the alpha-chains of C3b and C4b in the presence of the cofactors COMPLEMENT FACTOR H and C4-binding protein, respectively. It is a 66-kDa glycoprotein that converts C3b to inactivated C3b (iC3b) followed by the release of two fragments, C3c (150-kDa) and C3dg (41-kDa). It was formerly called KAF, C3bINF, or enzyme 3b inactivator.Receptors, Complement 3b: Molecular sites on or in some B-lymphocytes and macrophages that recognize and combine with COMPLEMENT C3B. The primary structure of these receptors reveal that they contain transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, with their extracellular portion composed entirely of thirty short consensus repeats each having 60 to 70 amino acids.Complement C8: A 150-kDa serum glycoprotein composed of three subunits with each encoded by a different gene (C8A; C8B; and C8G). This heterotrimer contains a disulfide-linked C8alpha-C8gamma heterodimer and a noncovalently associated C8beta chain. C8 is the next component to bind the C5-7 complex forming C5b-8 that binds COMPLEMENT C9 and acts as a catalyst in the polymerization of C9.Alternative Splicing: A process whereby multiple RNA transcripts are generated from a single gene. Alternative splicing involves the splicing together of other possible sets of EXONS during the processing of some, but not all, transcripts of the gene. Thus a particular exon may be connected to any one of several alternative exons to form a mature RNA. The alternative forms of mature MESSENGER RNA produce PROTEIN ISOFORMS in which one part of the isoforms is common while the other parts are different.Complement C5b: The larger fragment generated from the cleavage of C5 by C5 CONVERTASE that yields COMPLEMENT C5A and C5b (beta chain + alpha' chain, the residual alpha chain, bound by disulfide bond). C5b remains bound to the membrane and initiates the spontaneous assembly of the late complement components to form C5b-8-poly-C9, the MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX.Complement Inactivating Agents: Compounds that negatively regulate the cascade process of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. Uncontrolled complement activation and resulting cell lysis is potentially dangerous for the host.Complement C3-C5 Convertases, Classical Pathway: Important enzymes in the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. They cleave COMPLEMENT C3 and COMPLEMENT C5.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Receptors, Complement 3d: Molecular sites on or in B-lymphocytes, follicular dendritic cells, lymphoid cells, and epithelial cells that recognize and combine with COMPLEMENT C3D. Human complement receptor 2 (CR2) serves as a receptor for both C3dg and the gp350/220 glycoprotein of HERPESVIRUS 4, HUMAN, and binds the monoclonal antibody OKB7, which blocks binding of both ligands to the receptor.Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a: A G-protein-coupled receptor that signals an increase in intracellular calcium in response to the potent ANAPHYLATOXIN peptide COMPLEMENT C5A.Cobra Venoms: Venoms from snakes of the genus Naja (family Elapidae). They contain many specific proteins that have cytotoxic, hemolytic, neurotoxic, and other properties. Like other elapid venoms, they are rich in enzymes. They include cobramines and cobralysins.Anaphylatoxins: Serum peptides derived from certain cleaved COMPLEMENT PROTEINS during COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. They induce smooth MUSCLE CONTRACTION; mast cell HISTAMINE RELEASE; PLATELET AGGREGATION; and act as mediators of the local inflammatory process. The order of anaphylatoxin activity from the strongest to the weakest is C5a, C3a, C4a, and C5a des-arginine.Complement C5 Convertase, Alternative Pathway: A serine protease that cleaves multiple COMPLEMENT C5 into COMPLEMENT C5A (anaphylatoxin) and COMPLEMENT C5B in the ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. It is the complex of ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE (C3bBb) with an additional COMPLEMENT C3B, or C3bBb3b.Complement C3 Nephritic Factor: An IgG autoantibody against the ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE, found in serum of patients with MESANGIOCAPILLARY GLOMERULONEPHRITIS. The binding of this autoantibody to C3bBb stabilizes the enzyme thus reduces the actions of C3b inactivators (COMPLEMENT FACTOR H; COMPLEMENT FACTOR I). This abnormally stabilized enzyme induces a continuous COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION and generation of C3b thereby promoting the assembly of MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX and cytolysis.Hemolysis: The destruction of ERYTHROCYTES by many different causal agents such as antibodies, bacteria, chemicals, temperature, and changes in tonicity.Complement C1 Inactivator Proteins: Serum proteins that inhibit, antagonize, or inactivate COMPLEMENT C1 or its subunits.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Complement C4b-Binding Protein: A serum protein that regulates the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. It binds as a cofactor to COMPLEMENT FACTOR I which then hydrolyzes the COMPLEMENT C4B in the CLASSICAL PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE (C4bC2a).Serine Endopeptidases: Any member of the group of ENDOPEPTIDASES containing at the active site a serine residue involved in catalysis.Opsonin Proteins: Proteins that bind to particles and cells to increase susceptibility to PHAGOCYTOSIS, especially ANTIBODIES bound to EPITOPES that attach to FC RECEPTORS. COMPLEMENT C3B may also participate.Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases: A sub-subclass of endopeptidases that depend on an ASPARTIC ACID residue for their activity.ZymosanComplement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin: Complement activation triggered by the interaction of microbial POLYSACCHARIDES with serum MANNOSE-BINDING LECTIN resulting in the activation of MANNOSE-BINDING PROTEIN-ASSOCIATED SERINE PROTEASES. As in the classical pathway, MASPs cleave COMPLEMENT C4 and COMPLEMENT C2 to form C3 CONVERTASE (C4B2A) and the subsequent C5 CONVERTASE (C4B2A3B) leading to cleavage of COMPLEMENT C5 and assembly of COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX.Protein PrecursorsNeuroendocrine Secretory Protein 7B2: An acidic protein found in the NEUROENDOCRINE SYSTEM that functions as a molecular chaperone for PROPROTEIN CONVERTASE 2.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.Protein Processing, Post-Translational: Any of various enzymatically catalyzed post-translational modifications of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS in the cell of origin. These modifications include carboxylation; HYDROXYLATION; ACETYLATION; PHOSPHORYLATION; METHYLATION; GLYCOSYLATION; ubiquitination; oxidation; proteolysis; and crosslinking and result in changes in molecular weight and electrophoretic motility.Complement Fixation Tests: Serologic tests based on inactivation of complement by the antigen-antibody complex (stage 1). Binding of free complement can be visualized by addition of a second antigen-antibody system such as red cells and appropriate red cell antibody (hemolysin) requiring complement for its completion (stage 2). Failure of the red cells to lyse indicates that a specific antigen-antibody reaction has taken place in stage 1. If red cells lyse, free complement is present indicating no antigen-antibody reaction occurred in stage 1.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Antigens, CD59: Small glycoproteins found on both hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic cells. CD59 restricts the cytolytic activity of homologous complement by binding to C8 and C9 and blocking the assembly of the membrane attack complex. (From Barclay et al., The Leukocyte Antigen FactsBook, 1993, p234)Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Carboxypeptidase H: A ZINC-containing exopeptidase primarily found in SECRETORY VESICLES of endocrine and neuroendocrine cells. It catalyzes the cleavage of C-terminal ARGININE or LYSINE residues from polypeptides and is active in processing precursors of PEPTIDE HORMONES and other bioactive peptides.Antigens, CD46: A ubiquitously expressed complement receptor that binds COMPLEMENT C3B and COMPLEMENT C4B and serves as a cofactor for their inactivation. CD46 also interacts with a wide variety of pathogens and mediates immune response.Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein: An endogenous 105-kDa plasma glycoprotein produced primarily by the LIVER and MONOCYTES. It inhibits a broad spectrum of proteases, including the COMPLEMENT C1R and the COMPLEMENT C1S proteases of the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY, and the MANNOSE-BINDING PROTEIN-ASSOCIATED SERINE PROTEASES. C1-INH-deficient individuals suffer from HEREDITARY ANGIOEDEMA TYPES I AND II.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Phagocytosis: The engulfing and degradation of microorganisms; other cells that are dead, dying, or pathogenic; and foreign particles by phagocytic cells (PHAGOCYTES).Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Erythrocytes: Red blood cells. Mature erythrocytes are non-nucleated, biconcave disks containing HEMOGLOBIN whose function is to transport OXYGEN.Pro-Opiomelanocortin: A 30-kDa protein synthesized primarily in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND and the HYPOTHALAMUS. It is also found in the skin and other peripheral tissues. Depending on species and tissues, POMC is cleaved by PROHORMONE CONVERTASES yielding various active peptides including ACTH; BETA-LIPOTROPIN; ENDORPHINS; MELANOCYTE-STIMULATING HORMONES; and others (GAMMA-LPH; CORTICOTROPIN-LIKE INTERMEDIATE LOBE PEPTIDE; N-terminal peptide of POMC or NPP).alpha 1-Antitrypsin: Plasma glycoprotein member of the serpin superfamily which inhibits TRYPSIN; NEUTROPHIL ELASTASE; and other PROTEOLYTIC ENZYMES.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative: Chronic glomerulonephritis characterized histologically by proliferation of MESANGIAL CELLS, increase in the MESANGIAL EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX, and a thickening of the glomerular capillary walls. This may appear as a primary disorder or secondary to other diseases including infections and autoimmune disease SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Various subtypes are classified by their abnormal ultrastructures and immune deposits. Hypocomplementemia is a characteristic feature of all types of MPGN.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Complement C2b: The N-terminal fragment of COMPLEMENT 2, released by the action of activated COMPLEMENT C1S.Mice, Inbred C57BLCells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Blood Bactericidal Activity: The natural bactericidal property of BLOOD due to normally occurring antibacterial substances such as beta lysin, leukin, etc. This activity needs to be distinguished from the bactericidal activity contained in a patient's serum as a result of antimicrobial therapy, which is measured by a SERUM BACTERICIDAL TEST.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Blood Proteins: Proteins that are present in blood serum, including SERUM ALBUMIN; BLOOD COAGULATION FACTORS; and many other types of proteins.Pituitary Hormones: Hormones secreted by the PITUITARY GLAND including those from the anterior lobe (adenohypophysis), the posterior lobe (neurohypophysis), and the ill-defined intermediate lobe. Structurally, they include small peptides, proteins, and glycoproteins. They are under the regulation of neural signals (NEUROTRANSMITTERS) or neuroendocrine signals (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) from the hypothalamus as well as feedback from their targets such as ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES; ANDROGENS; ESTROGENS.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Steroid 21-Hydroxylase: An adrenal microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 21-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP21 gene, converts progesterones to precursors of adrenal steroid hormones (CORTICOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE). Defects in CYP21 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Mannose-Binding Lectin: A specific mannose-binding member of the collectin family of lectins. It binds to carbohydrate groups on invading pathogens and plays a key role in the MANNOSE-BINDING LECTIN COMPLEMENT PATHWAY.Neutrophils: Granular leukocytes having a nucleus with three to five lobes connected by slender threads of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing fine inconspicuous granules and stainable by neutral dyes.Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic: A chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes. It is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system. The disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.Enzyme Precursors: Physiologically inactive substances that can be converted to active enzymes.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Serum: The clear portion of BLOOD that is left after BLOOD COAGULATION to remove BLOOD CELLS and clotting proteins.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Complement C5 Convertase, Classical Pathway: A serine protease that cleaves multiple COMPLEMENT 5 into COMPLEMENT 5A (anaphylatoxin) and COMPLEMENT 5B in the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. It is a complex of CLASSICAL PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE (C4b2a) with an additional COMPLEMENT C3B, or C4b2a3b.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Glomerulonephritis: Inflammation of the renal glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) that can be classified by the type of glomerular injuries including antibody deposition, complement activation, cellular proliferation, and glomerulosclerosis. These structural and functional abnormalities usually lead to HEMATURIA; PROTEINURIA; HYPERTENSION; and RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.DNA Primers: Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Complement C3 Convertase, Classical Pathway: A serine protease that cleaves multiple COMPLEMENT 3 into COMPLEMENT 3A (anaphylatoxin) and COMPLEMENT 3B in the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY. It is a complex of COMPLEMENT 4B and COMPLEMENT 2A (C4b2a).Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Macrophage-1 Antigen: An adhesion-promoting leukocyte surface membrane heterodimer. The alpha subunit consists of the CD11b ANTIGEN and the beta subunit the CD18 ANTIGEN. The antigen, which is an integrin, functions both as a receptor for complement 3 and in cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesive interactions.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.CHO Cells: CELL LINE derived from the ovary of the Chinese hamster, Cricetulus griseus (CRICETULUS). The species is a favorite for cytogenetic studies because of its small chromosome number. The cell line has provided model systems for the study of genetic alterations in cultured mammalian cells.Kidney Glomerulus: A cluster of convoluted capillaries beginning at each nephric tubule in the kidney and held together by connective tissue.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.Immunoglobulin M: A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN MU-CHAINS). IgM can fix COMPLEMENT. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin.Collectins: A class of C-type lectins that target the carbohydrate structures found on invading pathogens. Binding of collectins to microorganisms results in their agglutination and enhanced clearance. Collectins form trimers that may assemble into larger oligomers. Each collectin polypeptide chain consists of four regions: a relatively short N-terminal region, a collagen-like region, an alpha-helical coiled-coil region, and carbohydrate-binding region.Secretogranin II: A type of chromogranin which was initially characterized in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND. It is found in several species including human, rat, mouse, and others. Secretogranin II is an acidic protein of 559 to 586 amino acid residues that can stimulate DOPAMINE release from neurons and release of pituitary GONADOTROPINS.Exons: The parts of a transcript of a split GENE remaining after the INTRONS are removed. They are spliced together to become a MESSENGER RNA or other functional RNA.Substrate Specificity: A characteristic feature of enzyme activity in relation to the kind of substrate on which the enzyme or catalytic molecule reacts.Mannose-Binding Protein-Associated Serine Proteases: Serum serine proteases which participate in COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. They are activated when complexed with the MANNOSE-BINDING LECTIN, therefore also known as Mannose-binding protein-Associated Serine Proteases (MASPs). They cleave COMPLEMENT C4 and COMPLEMENT C2 to form C4b2a, the CLASSICAL PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome: A syndrome that is associated with microvascular diseases of the KIDNEY, such as RENAL CORTICAL NECROSIS. It is characterized by hemolytic anemia (ANEMIA, HEMOLYTIC); THROMBOCYTOPENIA; and ACUTE RENAL FAILURE.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.Macrophages: The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood MONOCYTES. Main types are PERITONEAL MACROPHAGES; ALVEOLAR MACROPHAGES; HISTIOCYTES; KUPFFER CELLS of the liver; and OSTEOCLASTS. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to EPITHELIOID CELLS or may fuse to form FOREIGN BODY GIANT CELLS or LANGHANS GIANT CELLS. (from The Dictionary of Cell Biology, Lackie and Dow, 3rd ed.)DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Glicentin: A 69-amino acid peptide derived from the N-terminal of PROGLUCAGON. It is mainly produced by the INTESTINAL L CELLS. Further processing of glicentin yield a 30-amino acid N-terminal peptide (glicentin-related polypeptide) and a 37-amino acid peptide OXYNTOMODULIN. Both glicentin and oxyntomodulin can reduce digestive secretions and delay gastric emptying.Chromogranins: A group of acidic proteins that are major components of SECRETORY GRANULES in the endocrine and neuroendocrine cells. They play important roles in the aggregation, packaging, sorting, and processing of secretory protein prior to secretion. They are cleaved to release biologically active peptides. There are various types of granins, usually classified by their sources.Mice, Inbred BALB CModels, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Edetic Acid: A chelating agent that sequesters a variety of polyvalent cations such as CALCIUM. It is used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and as a food additive.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Genetic Complementation Test: A test used to determine whether or not complementation (compensation in the form of dominance) will occur in a cell with a given mutant phenotype when another mutant genome, encoding the same mutant phenotype, is introduced into that cell.Antibodies: Immunoglobulin molecules having a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which they interact only with the ANTIGEN (or a very similar shape) that induced their synthesis in cells of the lymphoid series (especially PLASMA CELLS).Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal: A condition characterized by the recurrence of HEMOGLOBINURIA caused by intravascular HEMOLYSIS. In cases occurring upon cold exposure (paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria), usually after infections, there is a circulating antibody which is also a cold hemolysin. In cases occurring during or after sleep (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria), the clonal hematopoietic stem cells exhibit a global deficiency of cell membrane proteins.HIV Envelope Protein gp160: An envelope protein of the human immunodeficiency virus that is encoded by the HIV env gene. It has a molecular weight of 160,000 kDa and contains numerous glycosylation sites. It serves as a precursor for both the HIV ENVELOPE PROTEIN GP120 and the HIV ENVELOPE PROTEIN GP41.Immunoglobulins: Multi-subunit proteins which function in IMMUNITY. They are produced by B LYMPHOCYTES from the IMMUNOGLOBULIN GENES. They are comprised of two heavy (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) and two light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) with additional ancillary polypeptide chains depending on their isoforms. The variety of isoforms include monomeric or polymeric forms, and transmembrane forms (B-CELL ANTIGEN RECEPTORS) or secreted forms (ANTIBODIES). They are divided by the amino acid sequence of their heavy chains into five classes (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A; IMMUNOGLOBULIN D; IMMUNOGLOBULIN E; IMMUNOGLOBULIN G; IMMUNOGLOBULIN M) and various subclasses.Hydrolysis: The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Surface Plasmon Resonance: A biosensing technique in which biomolecules capable of binding to specific analytes or ligands are first immobilized on one side of a metallic film. Light is then focused on the opposite side of the film to excite the surface plasmons, that is, the oscillations of free electrons propagating along the film's surface. The refractive index of light reflecting off this surface is measured. When the immobilized biomolecules are bound by their ligands, an alteration in surface plasmons on the opposite side of the film is created which is directly proportional to the change in bound, or adsorbed, mass. Binding is measured by changes in the refractive index. The technique is used to study biomolecular interactions, such as antigen-antibody binding.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Complement C5a, des-Arginine: A derivative of complement C5a, generated when the carboxy-terminal ARGININE is removed by CARBOXYPEPTIDASE B present in normal human serum. C5a des-Arg shows complete loss of spasmogenic activity though it retains some chemotactic ability (CHEMOATTRACTANTS).Mutagenesis, Site-Directed: Genetically engineered MUTAGENESIS at a specific site in the DNA molecule that introduces a base substitution, or an insertion or deletion.Proinsulin: A pancreatic polypeptide of about 110 amino acids, depending on the species, that is the precursor of insulin. Proinsulin, produced by the PANCREATIC BETA CELLS, is comprised sequentially of the N-terminal B-chain, the proteolytically removable connecting C-peptide, and the C-terminal A-chain. It also contains three disulfide bonds, two between A-chain and B-chain. After cleavage at two locations, insulin and C-peptide are the secreted products. Intact proinsulin with low bioactivity also is secreted in small amounts.Egtazic Acid: A chelating agent relatively more specific for calcium and less toxic than EDETIC ACID.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Proglucagon: The common precursor polypeptide of pancreatic GLUCAGON and intestinal GLUCAGON-LIKE PEPTIDES. Proglucagon is the 158-amino acid segment of preproglucagon without the N-terminal signal sequence. Proglucagon is expressed in the PANCREAS; INTESTINES; and the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Posttranslational processing of proglucagon is tissue-specific yielding numerous bioactive peptides.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Species Specificity: The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Beta-Globulins: Serum proteins with an electrophoretic mobility that falls between ALPHA-GLOBULINS and GAMMA-GLOBULINS.Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic: A specific immune response elicited by a specific dose of an immunologically active substance or cell in an organism, tissue, or cell.Immunity, Innate: The capacity of a normal organism to remain unaffected by microorganisms and their toxins. It results from the presence of naturally occurring ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS, constitutional factors such as BODY TEMPERATURE and immediate acting immune cells such as NATURAL KILLER CELLS.Recombinant Fusion Proteins: Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Glycoproteins: Conjugated protein-carbohydrate compounds including mucins, mucoid, and amyloid glycoproteins.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.alpha-MSH: A 13-amino acid peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE, the N-terminal segment of ACTH. ACTH (1-13) is amidated at the C-terminal to form ACTH (1-13)NH2 which in turn is acetylated to form alpha-MSH in the secretory granules. Alpha-MSH stimulates the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Antigens, CD: Differentiation antigens residing on mammalian leukocytes. CD stands for cluster of differentiation, which refers to groups of monoclonal antibodies that show similar reactivity with certain subpopulations of antigens of a particular lineage or differentiation stage. The subpopulations of antigens are also known by the same CD designation.Oxidoreductases: The class of all enzymes catalyzing oxidoreduction reactions. The substrate that is oxidized is regarded as a hydrogen donor. The systematic name is based on donor:acceptor oxidoreductase. The recommended name will be dehydrogenase, wherever this is possible; as an alternative, reductase can be used. Oxidase is only used in cases where O2 is the acceptor. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992, p9)Immunoelectrophoresis: A technique that combines protein electrophoresis and double immunodiffusion. In this procedure proteins are first separated by gel electrophoresis (usually agarose), then made visible by immunodiffusion of specific antibodies. A distinct elliptical precipitin arc results for each protein detectable by the antisera.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.Lipopolysaccharides: Lipid-containing polysaccharides which are endotoxins and important group-specific antigens. They are often derived from the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria and induce immunoglobulin secretion. The lipopolysaccharide molecule consists of three parts: LIPID A, core polysaccharide, and O-specific chains (O ANTIGENS). When derived from Escherichia coli, lipopolysaccharides serve as polyclonal B-cell mitogens commonly used in laboratory immunology. (From Dorland, 28th ed)NF-kappa B p52 Subunit: A component of NF-kappa B transcription factor. It is proteolytically processed from NF-kappa B p100 precursor protein and is important for maturation of B-LYMPHOCYTES and adaptive HUMORAL IMMUNITY.Tumor Cells, Cultured: Cells grown in vitro from neoplastic tissue. If they can be established as a TUMOR CELL LINE, they can be propagated in cell culture indefinitely.COS Cells: CELL LINES derived from the CV-1 cell line by transformation with a replication origin defective mutant of SV40 VIRUS, which codes for wild type large T antigen (ANTIGENS, POLYOMAVIRUS TRANSFORMING). They are used for transfection and cloning. (The CV-1 cell line was derived from the kidney of an adult male African green monkey (CERCOPITHECUS AETHIOPS).)Mannans: Polysaccharides consisting of mannose units.Alleles: Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous CHROMOSOMES, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product.Inflammation: A pathological process characterized by injury or destruction of tissues caused by a variety of cytologic and chemical reactions. It is usually manifested by typical signs of pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.Lentinan: Polysaccharide isolated from the edible mushroom LENTINULA EDODES. The exact composition is unknown.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Angiopoietins: A family of structurally-related angiogenic proteins of approximately 70 kDa in size. They have high specificity for members of the TIE RECEPTOR FAMILY.Schistosoma: A genus of trematode flukes belonging to the family Schistosomatidae. There are over a dozen species. These parasites are found in man and other mammals. Snails are the intermediate hosts.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.beta-Endorphin: A 31-amino acid peptide that is the C-terminal fragment of BETA-LIPOTROPIN. It acts on OPIOID RECEPTORS and is an analgesic. Its first four amino acids at the N-terminal are identical to the tetrapeptide sequence of METHIONINE ENKEPHALIN and LEUCINE ENKEPHALIN.Animal Testing Alternatives: Procedures, such as TISSUE CULTURE TECHNIQUES; mathematical models; etc., when used or advocated for use in place of the use of animals in research or diagnostic laboratories.Immunoelectrophoresis, Two-Dimensional: Immunoelectrophoresis in which a second electrophoretic transport is performed on the initially separated antigen fragments into an antibody-containing medium in a direction perpendicular to the first electrophoresis.Glycosylation: The chemical or biochemical addition of carbohydrate or glycosyl groups to other chemicals, especially peptides or proteins. Glycosyl transferases are used in this biochemical reaction.Fibrinogen: Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides A and B, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products.Sialic Acids: A group of naturally occurring N-and O-acyl derivatives of the deoxyamino sugar neuraminic acid. They are ubiquitously distributed in many tissues.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Macular Degeneration: Degenerative changes in the RETINA usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the MACULA LUTEA) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in dry and wet forms.Azospirillum brasilense: A species of motile, free-living, gram-negative bacteria that occur in the soil. They are aerobic or microaerophilic and are sometimes capable of nitrogen fixation.Arteriolosclerosis: Thickening of the walls of small ARTERIES or ARTERIOLES due to cell proliferation or HYALINE deposition.