By the use of Western-blot analyses with polyclonal anti-(Factor H) antibodies, two low-Mr protein species of Mr 41,000 and 37,000 under non-reducing conditions and 43,000 and 40,000 under reducing conditions are consistently detected together with the well-known 155,000-Mr Factor H in human plasma and serum. These two additional species are also found in plasma, urine and synovial fluids. The 41,000-Mr species but not the 37,00-Mr species is detected by a monoclonal anti-(Factor H) antibody directed at the N-terminal part of Factor H. The 37,000-Mr species but not the 41,000-Mr species is detected by a monoclonal anti-(Factor H) antibody directed at the C-terminal part of Factor H. The 41,000-Mr and 37,000-Mr species are different from the well-characterized 36,000-Mr N-terminal tryptic fragment of Factor H. They are likely to represent translational products of the short Factor H mRNA species of 1.8 kb and 1.2-1.5 kb occurring in human liver that we have recently described.

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