The human complement system is a powerful player in the defense against pathogenic organisms but is also critically involved in homeostasis and the mediation of immune responses. In order to exert those essential functions in immune surveillance and inflammatory triage, complement relies on an intricate interaction network between protein components, enzymes regulators and receptors. At the same time, direct interactions with components of other physiological systems drive important crosstalk mechanisms. Finally, pathogens often produce modulators that interact with complement proteins and interfere with complement function as part of their immune evasion strategies. Knowledge of the complement interaction network is therefore important for understanding the role of complement in health and disease and for the design of complement-targeted therapeutics.
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