Effects of C4 null alleles and homoduplications on quantitative expression of C4A and C4B

A. Hammond, W. Ollier, M. J. Walport

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    The availability of MoAbs now allows the accurate quantification of the individual C4 isotypes, C4A and C4B. Using a sensitive two-site immunoradiometric technique to measure serum levels of C4A and C4B, we studied the relationship between genotype and phenotype and physiological factors affecting C4 expression in 129 fully genotyped healthy subjects. Our results confirm that there is extensive phenotypic overlap between genotypic groups and it was not possible to determine the presence of single null alleles from total serum C4. Of the factors which may influence C4 expression, we found that age contributes a very small influence but that gender has no effect and there was no evidence for the presence of feedback of null alleles on the expression of remaining genes. Potential problems in quantifying C4 arising from the complex relationship between isotypic identity and serotypic recognition were highlighted by the finding of reversed antigenic expression of a C4B*5 molecule which was recognized as C4A by the anti-Rg:1 monoclonal used in these studies. We also confirmed that the extended MHC haplotype associated with Felty's syndrome, HLA-B44, C4A*3, C4BQ*O, HLA-DR4, encodes an expressed, duplicated, C4A gene.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-168
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical and experimental immunology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1992


    • C4
    • immunodeficiency
    • systemic lupus erythematosus


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