Key words Membrane cofactor protein
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Human membrane cofactor protein (MCP, CD46) is widely distributed and is one of the plasma membrane complement inhibitors. We isolated cDNA clones encoding genetic homologues of human MCP from a rat testis cDNA library. Northern blot analysis indicated that rat MCP is preferentially expressed in testis, similar to what is found with guinea pig MCP. We identified several different cDNAs, which were presumably generated by alternative splicing from a single-copy gene. The most prevalent isoform corresponded to the Ser/Thr/Pro-rich C type of human MCP. Mouse MCP cDNA was cloned by polymerase chain reaction based on the nucleotide sequence of rat MCP. The deduced amino acid sequence showed 77.8% identity to rat MCP. Mouse MCP was also preferentially expressed in testis. Unique expression in testis in rat and mouse as well as guinea pig suggests that MCPs in these species not only act as complement regulatory proteins but may also have more specialized functions in fertilization or reproduction. Genetic mapping by linkage analysis indicated that the mouse Mcp gene is located on distal chromosome 1, closely linked to the complement receptor 2 (Cr2) gene.
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