What is Opsonization? Definition, Function, and Examples

Opsonization Definition

The process of binding opsonins to the surface of the antigen is called opsonization. Opsonization occurs to readily identify the antigen that can be engulfed by phagocytes for destruction.

What is Opsonization?

The process or the molecular mechanism of using opsonins to make a molecule palatable to the phagocyte is called opsonization. The example of opsonization includes the binding of opsonins to the surface of the bacterial cell that makes the phagocytes interact strongly with the opsonins. Thus the antigen or molecule is ingested and eliminated through phagocytosis with the help of opsonins.

The coating of the target molecule with opsonins results in overriding the tendency of the cells to not come close together and thus enhance phagocytosis.

The binding of the Fab region of the antibody to antigen results in the interaction of its Fc region with the Fc receptor present on the cell surface of the phagocyte.

The IgM is an example of opsonin that can activate the complement system to enhance the susceptibility of antigens to phagocytosis.

Apart from phagocytosis, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity was also promoted by opsonization. The process of opsonization of pathogen that coated with IgG antibodies and results ultimately in the destruction of the antigen is called antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. It triggers the IgG to release lysis products.

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