C4-binding protein (bp), a glycoprotein with specific binding affinity for the activated form of C4 (C4b), has recently been isolated from human serum and partially characterized. This report demonstrates that C4-bp is incorporated into soluble immune complexes after complement activation in vitro. The reaction requires Ca++ ions and the presence of C4 in serum. Immunopathological studies of various forms of glomerulonephritis revealed intense C4-bp deposition in glomeruli from patients with immune-complex type of pathogenesis. C4-bp deposition was in close correlation with that of C4. These observations, together with the in vitro association of C4-bp to immune complexes, support the notion that the deposits in glomeruli represent the local accumulation of immune complexes.
J Scharfstein, E B Correa, G R Gallo, V Nussenzweig