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J Exp Med. 1991 May 1;173(5):1159-63.

The C3b/C4b receptor is recognized by the Knops, McCoy, Swain-langley, and York blood group antisera.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratory, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Erythrocytes (E) lacking high incidence blood group antigens were screened by an antiglobulin test with a monoclonal antibody to human complement receptor type 1 (CR1; C3b/C4b receptor; CD35). Some examples of E lacking Knops, McCoy, Swain-Langley, and York antigens, a serologically related group, were not agglutinated. Moreover, E of the null phenotype for these same antigens were nonreactive. To further explore this relationship, E expressing these antigens were surface labeled, solubilized, and incubated with the corresponding blood group-specific antisera. CR1 was immunoprecipitated, indicating that the epitopes recognized by each of these antisera are expressed on CR1. E of two individuals, putative null phenotypes for the Knops, McCoy, and Swain-Langley blood group antigens, expressed a very low number of CR1 (less than 30/E; approximately 10% of the normal mean). This observation accounts for their lack of reactivity in the antiglobulin test and their prior designation as null phenotypes. Also, the previously reported low as well as variable expression of CR1 on E explains prior difficulties in the serologic analyses of these blood group antigens.

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