Mapping the active site of CD59.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1084/jem.185.4.745
CD59 is a widely distributed membrane-bound inhibitor of the cytolytic membrane attack complex (MAC) of complement. This small (77 amino acid) glycoprotein is a member of the Ly6 superfamily of proteins and is important in protecting host cells from the lytic and proinflammatory activity of the MAC. CD59 functions by binding to C8 and/or C9 in the nascent MAC and interfering with C9 membrane insertion and polymerization. We present data obtained from a combination of molecular modeling and mutagenesis techniques, which together indicate that the active site of CD59 is located in the vicinity of a hydrophobic groove on the face of the molecule opposite to a "hydrophobic strip" suggested earlier. In addition, removal of the single N-linked glycosylation site at Asn18 of CD59 resulted in an enhancement of complement inhibitory activity.