, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 120-128

The thioester and isotypic sites of complement component C4 in sheep and cattle

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Abstract

The region inclusive of the thioester and the isotype-determining sites of the sheep C4 genes from a single animal was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two bands, at 880 base pairs (bp) and 1000 bp, were resolved by agarose gel electrophoresis. Four different clones were obtained for the 880 bp (type 1) product and two from the 1000 bp (type 2) product. Two of the type 1 clones (type 1H) and both type 2 clones (type 2H) code for the PCPVIH sequence at the isotypic site whereas the other two type 1 clones (type 1D) code for the PFPVMD sequence. By restriction mapping and Southern blot analysis, there appears to be four C4 gene loci for the sheep: two type 1H, one type 1D, and one type 2H. The type 1H and type 2H genes are likely to code for proteins with C4B-like properties whereas the type 1D genes for proteins with C4A-like properties. The same region of the sheep C4 genes of nine other breeds of sheep are also amplified by PCR and analyzed by restriction mapping and Southern hybridization. Each of the sheep has type 1H, type 2H, and type 1D genes and appears to have four C4 gene loci except for the Orkney, which may have five. A single band of 880 bp was obtained from the PCR product from the genomic DNA of a single cow. Five different clones were identified, two of which code for the PFPVMD sequence and three for the PCPVIH sequence at the isotypic site, which is consistent with previous finding that C4 proteins with A- and B-like activities could be purified from the plasma of the same animal. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the isotype-determining region of the sheep and cattle C4 genes with those of the primates and mouse suggests that the C4A-like genes evolved independently in the primates and the ungulates.

Correspondence to: S. K. A. Law.