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J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 5;264(4):2118-25.

Genomic organization and polymorphisms of the human C3d/Epstein-Barr virus receptor.

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  • 1Arthritis and Immunology Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City.


The human C3d/Epstein-Barr virus receptor (CR2/CD21) is a 145-kDa protein primarily expressed on mature B lymphocytes. CR2 is a member of the regulators of complement activation (RCA) gene family found on band q32 of chromosome 1. The RCA proteins are characterized by the presence of 60-70 amino acid short consensus repeats (SCR). A full length CR2 cDNA was cloned and used to identify overlapping cosmid genomic clones. Analysis of CR2 exon-intron junctions revealed the presence of three types of exons in the short consensus repeat region of CR2. First, four exons each of which encodes two SCR are present. Five exons encode a single SCR. Six exons encode SCRs which are split in identical positions. The order of these types of exons is in a repeated array of four SCRs, indicating that the contemporary CR2 gene likely evolved from a more primitive gene containing four SCRs. The CR2 full length cDNA clone was used to find restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). Restriction enzyme TaqI generated 2.55- and 2.10-kilobase (kb) polymorphic bands. This RFLP was mapped near the exon containing the first two SCRs. HaeIII digestion generated polymorphic bands of 1.45, 1.55, and 1.75 kb. The HaeIII 1.45-kb RFLP band maps near the exon containing the 15th SCR. The TaqI and HaeIII RFLPs will provide tools for the genetic analysis of CR2. The organization of the CR2 gene provides insights into the evolution of human CR2 and the RCA gene family.

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