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C8 is a component of the complement system and contains three polypeptides, alpha, beta and gamma. Complement component C8 alpha chain (C8A) is a constituent of the membrane attack complex (MAC) that plays a key role in the innate and adaptive immune response by forming pores in the plasma membrane of target cells. C8A inserts into the target membrane, but does not form pores by itself. Mutations in the C8A gene cause complement C8 alpha-gamma deficiency.