The protein gC1qR (globular C1q receptor), also named p33, was originally identified as a binding partner of the globular heads of C1q in the complement system. gC1qR/p33 is abundantly expressed in many cell types, but the functional importance of this protein is not completely understood. Here, we investigate the impact of gC1qR/p33 on the production and function of the pathophysiologically important chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Knockdown of gC1qR/p33 negatively regulated the production of MCP-1, but had no effect on the expression of transcript for MCP-1 in human periodontal ligament cells, suggesting a translational/post-translational mechanism of action. Laser scanning confocal microscopy showed considerable cytosolic co-localization of gC1qR/p33 and MCP-1, and co-immunoprecipitation disclosed direct physical interaction between gC1qR/p33 and MCP-1. Surface plasmon resonance analysis revealed a high-affinity binding (KD = 10.9 nM) between gC1qR/p33 and MCP-1. Using a transwell migration assay, we found that recombinant gC1qR/p33 enhances MCP-1-induced migration of human THP-1 monocytes, pointing to a functional importance of the interaction between gC1qR/p33 and MCP-1. An in vitro assay revealed a rapid turnover of the MCP-1 protein and that gC1qR/ p33 stabilizes MCP-1, hence preventing its degradation. We propose that endogenous gC1qR/p33 physically interacts with MCP-1 causing stabilization of the MCP-1 protein and stimulation of its activity in human periodontal ligament cells, suggesting a novel gC1qR/p33-mediated pro-inflammatory mechanism of action.
- Cell- och molekylärbiologi