Synthesis of C1 inhibitor in fibroblasts from patients with type I and type II hereditary angioneurotic edema

J. Kramer, Y. Katz, F. S. Rosen, A. E. Davis, R. C. Strunk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with hereditary angioneurotic edema (HANE) have serum levels of functionally active inhibitor of the first component of complement (C1 INH) between 5 and 30% of normal, instead of the 50% expected from the single normal allele. Increases in rates of catabolism have been documented in patients with HANE and certainly account for some of decrease in C1 INH level. A possible role for a decrease in synthesis of C1 INH in producing serum levels of C1 INH below the expected 50% of normal has not been well studied. We studied the synthesis of C1 INH in skin fibroblast lines, which produce easily detectable amounts of C1 INH. In type I HANE cells, C1 INH synthesis was 19.6 ± 4.0% (mean ± SD) of normal, much less than the 50% predicted. In type II HANE cells, the total amount of C1 INH synthesis (functional and dysfunctional) was 98.9 ± 17% of normal; the functional protein comprised 43% of the total. Thus, type II HANE cells synthesized functional C1 INH at a much greater rate than for the type I cells. In both type I and II HANE cells, amounts of steady-state C1 INH mRNA levels paralleled rates of C1 INH synthesis, indicating that control of C1 INH synthesis occurred at pretranslational levels. Both type I and type II fibroblasts synthesized normal amounts of C1r and C1s. These data suggest that the lower than expected amounts of functionally active C1 INH in type I HANE may be due, in part, to a decrease in rate of synthesis of the protein, and that the expressions of the normal C1 INH allele in HANE is influenced by the type of abnormal allele present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1614-1620
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Hereditary angioneurotic edema
  • Synthesis of C1 inhibitor


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