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membrane attack complex

 

Definition: a complex of complement components (C5–C9) that, when activated, bind to the membrane of a target cell, penetrating it with a hydrophobic residue exteriorly and a hydrophilic residue in the interior of the cell; this allows passage of ions and water, swelling of the cell and subsequent lysis.

Synonym(s): MAC complex

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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