The complete amino acid sequence of the human complement system regulatory protein, factor H, has been derived from sequencing three overlapping cDNA clones. The sequence consists of 1213 amino acids arranged in 20 homologous units, each about 60 amino acids long, and an 18-residue leader sequence. The 60-amino-acid-long repetitive units are homologous with those found in a large number of other complement and non-complement proteins. Two basic C-terminal residues, deduced from the cDNA sequence, are absent from factor H isolated from outdated plasma. A tyrosine/histidine polymorphism was observed within the seventh homologous repeat unit of factor H. This is likely to represent a difference between the two major allelic variants of factor H. The nature of the cDNA clones indicates that there is likely to be an alternative splicing mechanism, resulting in the formation of at least two species of factor H mRNA.

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