Caveolin-1 and dynamin-2 are essential for removal of the complement C5b-9 complex via endocytosis

Oren Moskovich, Lee Or Herzog, Marcelo Ehrlich, Zvi Fishelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complement system, an important element of both innate and adaptive immunity, is executing complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) with its C5b-9 protein complex that is assembled on cell surfaces and transmits to the cell death signals. In turn, cells, and in particular cancer cells, protect themselves fromCDCin various ways. Thus, cells actively remove the C5b-9 complexes from their plasma membrane by endocytosis. Inhibition of clathrin by transfection with shRNA or of EPS-15 with a dominant negative plasmid had no effect on C5b-9 endocytosis and on cell death. In contrast, inhibition of caveolin-1 (Cav-1) by transfection with an shRNA or a dominant negative plasmid sensitized cells to CDC and inhibited C5b-9 endocytosis. Similarly, both inhibition of dynamin-2 by transfection with a dominant negative plasmid or by treatment with Dynasore reduced C5b-9 endocytosis and enhanced CDC. C5b-9 endocytosis was also disrupted by pretreatment of the cells with methyl-β-cyclodextrin or Filipin III, hence implicating membrane cholesterol in the process. Analyses by confocal microscopy demonstrated co-localization of Cav-1-EGFP with C5b-9 at the plasma membrane, in early endosomes, at the endocytic recycling compartment and in secreted vesicles. Further investigation of the process of C5b-9 removal by exo-vesiculation demonstrated that inhibition of Cav-1 and cholesterol depletion abrogated C5b-9 exo-vesiculation, whereas, over-expression of Cav-1 increased C5b-9 exo-vesiculation. Our results show that Cav-1 and dynamin-2 (but not clathrin) support cell resistance to CDC, probably by facilitating purging of the C5b-9 complexes by endocytosis and exo-vesiculation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19904-19915
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 8 Jun 2012


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