Murine C4b-binding protein (C4BP) is a regulatory molecule in the classical pathway of complement. C4BP is composed predominantly of short consensus repeats (SCRs) approximately 60 amino acids in length, which contain a framework of conserved residues. The SCRs are found in many complement molecules and a growing number of noncomplement molecules as well and are a major structural feature of some of these molecules. To characterize the structure of the murine C4BP gene, a cosmid library constructed from Balb/c liver DNA was screened. Several nearly identical, overlapping clones were identified; however, none of the clones, alone or in combination, covered the entire C4BP gene. One clone (D26) was chosen for detailed analysis and found to contain all but the leader region, the first SCR, and the first half of the second SCR. The SCRs three through six were each encoded by single exons. Only the latter half of the second SCR was present on the clone, and it was encoded by a single exon, demonstrating that murine C4BP has a split SCR at the genomic level. Structural mapping of this portion of the gene demonstrates that the region extending from the second half of the second SCR through the nonrepeat and untranslated region spans approximately 12 kb; however, genomic Southern blot analysis suggests that the gene is between 20 and 30 kb in length. Analysis of the 3' genomic sequence demonstrates that this region of the gene has homology with SV-40 late (class II) RNA sequences.
Biochemistry, 1989, Vol 28, Issue 21, p. 8312-8317