CFI: from neuroinflammation to skin cancer
Complement factor I (CFI), also known as C3b/C4b inactivator, is a serine protease that regulates complement activation. This is done by cleaving C3b/C4b as well as preventing the assembly of the C3 and C5 convertase enzymes. CFI deficiency results in an increased consumption of C3 and is associated with pyogenic infections, including aseptic meningitis. Mutations in this gene have also been associated with a predisposition to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, glomerulonephritis and age-related macular degeneration.
Other scientific papers also demonstrate a strong relation of CFI with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in children and neuroinflammation. Besides the typical complement-mediated disorders, recent papers have additionally demonstrated that CFI promotes the progression of skin cancer and that it has a prognostic value in breast cancer survival.
As a key regulator in the alternative pathway, CFI has become an important clinical hallmark for infectious diseases, neurological disorders and also in kidney disease.
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