Ficolin-3 activity towards the opportunistic pathogen, Hafnia alvei.

PMID 25178935


Ficolin-3 (also called H-ficolin or Hakata antigen) is a complement-activating pattern recognition molecule, possessing a fibrinogen-like domain involved in carbohydrate binding. Amongst human ficolins, Ficolin-3 has the highest concentration in serum and is the most potent lectin pathway activator in vitro. Evidence for its physiological function is sparse, although its deficiency has been suggested to increase susceptibility to infections. The specificity of Ficolin-3 is poorly characterized and currently few ligands are known. Here we report agglutination of Hafnia alvei, a Gram-negative enteric commensal bacterium and opportunist pathogen, in the presence of recombinant Ficolin-3 and calcium. Ficolin-3 also augmented phagocytosis of H. alvei by macrophages and displayed bactericidal activity. Additionally, Ficolin-3 inhibited host cells' response to TLR4/MD-2/CD14-LPS dependent NF-κB activation. This is the first demonstration of protective activity of Ficolin-3 against a human bacterial pathogen. Although human Ficolin-3 does not recognise and bind to common pathogenic bacteria, it could be an important component of innate immunity providing protection, for example, from commensal flora that can cause extraintestinal, opportunistic infections.