Normal human serum subjected to sucrose density gradient analysis exhibited multiple sedimenting species of properdin antigen. Properdin antigen distribution was dependent on serum concentration, ionic strength, temperature, and the presence of C3, and was not dependent on the presence of divalent metal cations or blood coagulation. In mixtures of purified components, properdin sedimented heavier in the presence of C3, C3b, or C3c. Addition of factor B to mixtures containing C3 and properdin was without effect. These data provide insights into earlier discrepancies concerning the sedimentation behavior of partially purified properdin, indicate a propensity of some constituents of the alternative pathway to form protein-protein complexes, and suggest caution in interpretation of immunopathological studies in which properdin deposits are found in the presence of C3.

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