There are two forms of C3-convertase ().

Once formed, both C3-convertases will catalyze the proteolytic cleavage of C3 into C3a and C3b (hence the name "C3-convertase"). C3b can then act as an opsonizer or bind to activated bimolecular complex C4b2a to form a trimolecular complex, C5-convertase, which is a specific enzyme for C5.

A convertase (of either type) with an additional 3b (C4b2a3b or C3bBb3b) is known as "C5-convertase".

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