We report here a partial primary structure for human complement protein H. Tryptic peptides comprising 27% of the H molecule were isolated by conventional techniques and were sequenced (333 amino acid residues). Several mixed-sequence oligonucleotide probes were constructed, based on the peptide sequence data, and were used to screen a human liver cDNA library. The largest recombinant plasmid (pH1050), which hybridized with two probes, was further characterized. The cDNA insert of this plasmid contained coding sequence (672 bp) for 224 amino acids of H. The 3' end of this clone had a polyadenylated tail preceded by a polyadenylation recognition site (ATTAAA) and a 3'-untranslated region (229 bp). Four regions of internal homology, each about 60 amino acids in length, were observed in the derived protein sequence from this cDNA clone, and a further seven from the tryptic peptide sequences. The consensus sequence for each of the repetitive units of H was four cysteines, two prolines, three glycines, one tryptophan, and two tyrosines/phenylalanines. Based on the mole percent values for each of these amino acids, it is likely that H is composed of about 20 repetitive units of this nature. Furthermore, the repetitive unit of H shows pronounced homology with the Ba fragment of B, the C4b binding protein, and beta 2-glycoprotein I. Therefore, it seems that at least portions of these proteins have evolved from a common ancestral DNA element.

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