Members of the regulator of complement activation (RCA) protein family perform a vital role in health and disease. In this report we describe our efforts to solve the structures of human membrane cofactor protein (CD46), the vaccinia virus complement control protein, which mimics mammalian RCA proteins, and human complement receptor type 1 (CD35). These examples illustrate that, despite good progress over the last decade, the regulators of complement, as extracellular multiple domain glycoproteins, still pose formidable problems to structural biologists. Many important questions remain unanswered, in particular with regard to the flexibility of these proteins and the extent to which they undergo conformational rearrangements on engaging their binding partners

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