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Genomics. 1994 Jun;21(3):501-9.

The gene coding for the beta-chain of C4b-binding protein (C4BPB) has become a pseudogene in the mouse.

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Unidad de Inmunología, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


C4BP beta is one of the two polypeptides that in humans compose the plasma glycoprotein C4b-binding protein (C4BP). C4BP beta binds the anticoagulant vitamin K-dependent protein S. Two, nonmutually exclusive, roles have been proposed for the C4BP-protein S interaction. It has been suggested to play a role in the control of the protein C anticoagulatory pathway. In addition, it may serve an important role in localizing C4BP to the surface of injured or activated cells. While the physiological significance of C4BP-protein S interaction is unclear, it has clinical relevance because elevated plasma levels of C4BP are associated with increased risk for thromboembolic disorders in humans, due to an inactivation of the protein C anticoagulatory pathway. Using a human C4BP beta cDNA probe, we have isolated and characterized a genomic DNA fragment that includes the murine C4BPB gene. Murine C4BPB is a single-copy gene that maps close to the C4BPA gene in chromosome 1. It contains two exons homologous to the exons coding for the SCR-1 and SCR-2 repeats of the human C4BP beta polypeptide chain. Sequence analysis of the C4BPB exons in the Mus musculus inbred strains CBA, Balb/c, and C57BL/6, in pen-bred Swiss mice, and in Mus spretus demonstrated the presence of two in-phase stop codons that are incompatible with the expression of a functional C4BP beta polypeptide. Thus, the characterization of the murine C4BPB gene documents the peculiar situation of a single-copy gene that is functional in humans but has become a pseudogene in the mouse.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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