Properdin: A multifaceted molecule involved in inflammation and diseases

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Abstract

Properdin, the widely known positive regulator of the alternative pathway (AP), has undergone significant investigation over the last decade to define its function in inflammation and disease, including its role in arthritis, asthma, and kidney and cardiovascular diseases. Properdin is a glycoprotein found in plasma that is mainly produced by leukocytes and can positively regulate AP activity by stabilizing C3 and C5 convertases and initiating the AP. Promotion of complement activity by properdin results in changes in the cellular microenvironment that contribute to innate and adaptive immune responses, including pro-inflammatory cytokine production, immune cell infiltration, antigen presenting cell maturation, and tissue damage. The use of properdin-deficient mouse models and neutralizing antibodies has contributed to the understanding of the mechanisms by which properdin contributes to promoting or preventing disease pathology. This review mainly focusses on the multifaceted roles of properdin in inflammation and diseases, and how understanding these roles is contributing to the development of new disease therapies.

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