Identification of the size and antigenic determinants of the human C4 gene by a polymerase chain-reaction-based amplification method

Hsien Hsiung Lee, Shwu Fen Chang, Yung Te Tseng, Yann Jinn Lee

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The human C4 complement components of the C4 locus are encoded by two genes, C4A and C4B, located on chromosome 6p21.3 of the major histocompatibility complex of the human leukocyte antigen class III region. The size difference between the two genes is due to the presence of HERV-K (C4), an endogenous retroviral sequence (6.7 kb long), in intron 9 of the long C4 gene. Whether the C4 is the long (L) or short (S) gene was determined by the Southern blot method, and the antigenic determinants in residues 1054-1106 of Rodgers and Chido were generally identified by immunoblot analysis. Herein, we explore a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method for directly determining the size of C4 loci adjacent to the respective RP1 and RP2 genes and antigenic determinants by DNA sequencing. From the results of this study, we concluded that all of the C4 genes adjacent to the RP1 gene presented the long gene. In addition, 47% of the C4 genes adjacent to the RP2 gene were the short gene and 53% were the long gene. This result was consistent with that of the Southern blot analysis. The PCR method is practical for identifying the C4 genotype and can be used to detect other polymorphisms among variants of C4 genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-127
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2006



  • Antigenicity
  • C4 component complement
  • HLA class III
  • PCR-based amplification
  • RCCX
  • Southern blot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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