Structural, functional and immunological similarities between the ninth component of complement (C9) and the lymphocyte pore-forming protein (PFP, perforin) have recently been described (8-10). PFP is shown here to be immunologically related to all other components of the membrane attack complex (MAC) of human complement, namely, C5b-6, C7, C8, and C9. Polyclonal antibodies raised against purified human C5b-6, C7, C8, or C9 react with other components of the MAC and with mouse lymphocyte PFP. The antigenic epitopes shared by human complement proteins and mouse lymphocyte PFP are limited to cysteine-rich domains. Only complement proteins that have been reduced and alkylated elicit the production of crossreactive antibodies when used as immunogens. The nonreduced forms of complement components or lymphocyte PFP neither react with these antibodies nor give rise to crossreactive antibodies. The homologous domains of complement proteins and lymphocyte PFP may play related functions in their attachment to lipid membranes and assembly of membrane lesions.

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