Unraveling the killing mechanism of complement’s Membrane Attack Complex.
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The host’s innate immune system forms the first line of defense against invading microbes. Of major importance in innate immunity is the complement system which consists of plasma proteins to eliminate potential pathogens. Assembly of complement’s Membrane Attack Complex (MAC) lyses bacteria through pore-formation in the bacterial membrane. Despite the fact that the MAC has been extensively studied, the exact killing mechanism of Gram-negative bacteria remains uninvestigated. This writing assignment focuses on approaches and methods to study killing mechanisms of other pore-forming complexes and to distinguish between outer and inner membrane disruption of Gram-negative bacteria. Several approaches are highlighted which may be useful to unravel the exact killing mechanisms of the MAC on Gram-negative bacteria.