Three allotypes of murine factor H have been identified serologically in the previous study (denoted H.1, H.2, and H.3). A cDNA clone coding for the entire length of murine factor H was isolated from a library constructed from the livers of STR/N mice which have H.2 allotype and was fully sequenced. The insert of this clone (STR309) contained 4184 nucleotides and consisted of a 47-bp 5' noncoding region, a 54-bp coding for leader peptide, a 3648 bp for the mature factor H protein, and a 435-bp 3' noncoding region. Compared with the previously reported sequence of the cDNA clone (MH8) isolated from B10.WR mice that have H.1 allotype, the size of the protein coding region was exactly the same, but 21 nucleotide substitutions resulting in 15 amino acid replacements were observed. The amino acid replacement/nucleotide substitution ratio (0.71) is far higher than those observed in the allotypic variations of other proteins. Four 15-base oligonucleotide probes specific for either STR309 or MH8 were synthesized and used in Northern blot analysis. The probes specific for STR309 hybridized with mRNA isolated from the livers of STR/N mice but not with mRNA from the livers of BALB/c mice that have H.1 allotype, whereas the reverse pattern was observed with the oligonucleotide probes specific for MH8. These results strongly suggest that the nucleotide sequence of STR309 represents H.2 allotype of factor H protein, providing an example of an unusual allotype with high ratio of amino acid replacements to nucleotide substitutions.
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