European journal of immunology

TFPI inhibits lectin pathway of complement activation by direct interaction with MASP-2.

PMID 25359215


The lectin pathway (LP) of complement has a protective function against invading pathogens. Recent studies have also shown that the LP plays an important role in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-injury. MBL-associated serine protease (MASP)-2 appears to be crucial in this process. The serpin C1-inhibitor is the major inhibitor of MASP-2. In addition, aprotinin, a Kunitz-type inhibitor, was shown to inhibit MASP-2 activity in vitro. In this study we investigated whether the Kunitz-type inhibitor tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) is also able to inhibit MASP-2. Ex vivo LP was induced and detected by C4-deposition on mannan-coated plates. The MASP-2 activity was measured in a fluid-phase chromogenic assay. rTFPI in the absence or presence of specific monoclonal antibodies was used to investigate which TFPI-domains contribute to MASP-2 inhibition. Here, we identify TFPI as a novel selective inhibitor of MASP-2, without affecting MASP-1 or the classical pathway proteases C1s and C1r. Kunitz-2 domain of TFPI is required for the inhibition of MASP-2. Considering the role of MASP-2 in complement-mediated I/R-injury, the inhibition of this protease by TFPI could be an interesting therapeutic approach to limit the tissue damage in conditions such as cerebral stroke, myocardial infarction or solid organ transplantation.