Biologic activity of synthetic analogues of C5a anaphylatoxin

J. A. Ember, S. D. Sanderson, S. M. Taylor, M. Kawahara, T. E. Hugli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The C activation fragment C5a is the most potent plasma-derived chemotactic factor known. This humoral factor induces both neutrophil and macrophage activation at low nanomolar concentrations. We have synthesized a series of C-terminal C5a analogues that exhibit all of the characteristic biologic activities of C5a. These peptides apparently contain the effector site for C5a receptor-mediated cellular activation, but express only a fraction of the potency of intact C5a. We have demonstrated the following in vitro activities for these C5a peptides: 1) ileal (guinea pig) contraction; 2) platelet (guinea pig) activation; and 3) neutrophil (human) polarization and chemotaxis. The effect of C5a peptides in vivo was evaluated by measuring enhancement in vascular permeability. Although potencies of the most effective synthetic C5a analogues were on the order of 0.01 to 0.1% that of the natural factor, our biologic data confirm that the C5a peptides are full agonists of the intact factor and may be useful substitutes for intact C5a. Furthermore, our results indicate that elongation of the C5a analogues from 10 to 19 residues in length contributes little toward enhancing or decreasing potency of the synthetic C5a analogues. Replacement of residues in the effector region by D-amino acids or by introduction of a cyclic group to reduce flexibility of the backbone decreased potency of the analogues. Substitution of His 67 by Phe in the decapeptide C5a 65-74 resulted in a significant increase in potency of the C5a analogue. The marked enhancement in potency from replacing His 67 by Phe in analogue C5a peptides identifies an important hydrophobic subsite. We conclude that site-specific amino acid modifications in or near the C-terminal effector site sequence can diminish or optimize potency of the model C5a peptides. However, there apparently are subsites on folded C5a, from regions other than the C-terminal portion of the molecule, that contribute significant receptor interactions. These subsites must be identified and incorporated into C5a model peptide designs before expression of full potency by synthetic analogues of this factor will be realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3165-3173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biologic activity of synthetic analogues of C5a anaphylatoxin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this