By using synthetic oligonucleotides as probes, plasmid clones containing portions of cDNA coding for human C4b-binding protein were isolated from a liver cDNA library. The entire amino acid sequence of the C4b-binding protein can be predicted from this study of the cloned cDNA when allied to a previous sequence study at the protein level [Chung, Gagnon & Reid (1985) Mol. Immunol. 22, 427-435], in which over 55% of the amino acid sequence, including the N-terminal 62 residues, was obtained. The plasmid clones isolated allowed the unambiguous determination of 1717 nucleotides of cDNA sequence between the codon for the 32nd amino acid in the sequence of C4b-binding protein and the 164th nucleotide in the 3′ non-translated region. The sequence studies show that the secreted form of C4b-binding protein, found in plasma, is composed of chains of apparent Mr 70 000 that contains 549 amino acid residues. Examination of the protein and cDNA sequence results show that there are at least two polymorphic sites in the molecule. One is at position 44, which can be glutamine or threonine, and the other is at position 309, which can be tyrosine or histidine. Northern-blot analysis indicated that the mRNA for C4b-binding protein is approx. 2.5 kilobases long. The N-terminal 491 amino acids of C4b-binding protein can be divided into eight internal homologous regions, each approx. 60 amino acids long, which can be aligned by the presence in each region of four half-cystine, one tryptophan and several other conserved residues. These regions in C4b-binding protein are homologous with the three internal-homology regions that have been reported to be present within the Ba region of the complement enzyme factor B and also to the internal-homology regions found in the non-complement beta 2-glycoprotein I.

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