The relationships between functional, biochemical, and genetic homologues of human and mouse C receptors 1 (CR1) and 2 (CR2) are incompletely understood. We have isolated and characterized a partial mouse CR2 cDNA clone and determined the exon-intron organization of the gene encoding it. Together they predict a form of mouse CR2 highly identical to the 15 short consensus repeat form of human CR2. Strong similarities in genomic organization and exon-intron junctions indicate that this mouse gene and human CR2 are evolutionary homologues. A polyclonal rabbit anti-mouse CR2 fusion protein, BRN-1, was prepared. BRN-1 immunoprecipitates bands of 155 to 160 kDa under nonreducing conditions in mouse CR2 expressing B cell lines. In mouse spleen a doublet of 155 kDa and 190 kDa under nonreducing and 165 and 205 kDa under reducing conditions is recognized by immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis. Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease maps of these two proteins show many shared bands. Crossed immunoprecipitation using BRN-1 and 7E9, a previously described mAb reported to identify the 190-kDa mouse CR1 and a smaller 150-kDa protein, indicates that both antibodies react with the same proteins. Therefore, by using BRN-1 we have now linked the genetic mouse CR2 to its functional, biochemically characterized gene product. The observation that BRN-1 also recognizes a second 190-kDa mouse protein defined functionally as a homologue of human CR1, and that these proteins have very similar peptide maps, provides strong evidence that these two proteins are expressed by a single mouse CR2/CR1 transcription unit.

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