A purified cobra venom factor with C-inhibiting activity also promotes lysis of erythrocytes in fresh mammalian serum. Lysis-inducing activity of purified cobra venom factor was found in sera of lower vertebrates including the cyclostome hagfish and in invertebrates. Lysis-inducing activity was most effective with frog serum. Frog serum was found to be more hemolytic for Es in the presence of CVF than when cells were sensitized with hemolysin. The hemolysis induced by CVF with frog serum, as in the higher vertebrates, was inhibited when sera were pretreated with known C inhibitors including heat, chelators, endotoxin, immune complexes, and CVF itself.
Complexes formed with CVF and either frog serum or invertebrate hemolymph promoted lysis of indicator cells in the presence of frog serum in EDTA. This lysis was most marked when the starfish-CVF complex was used and was C-dependent. Conversely, complex formed with frog serum and CVF promoted lysis of E in the presence of invertebrate hemolymph (Limulus) in EDTA. Hence, serum components were to some degree at least interchangeable between vertebrate sera and invertebrate hemolymph. Lysis-inducing activity of purified CVF occurs in a wide range of species, has revealed activities resembling those of terminal C-components in lower vertebrates and invertebrates, and provides one means for study of C and C-like activities in primitive species.