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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Chromosomal assignment of genes encoding the alpha, beta, and gamma subunits of human complement protein C8: identification of a close physical linkage between the alpha and the beta loci.

The eighth component of human complement (C8) is a serum protein containing three nonidentical subunits (alpha, beta, gamma) that are arranged as a disulfide-linked alpha-gamma dimer and a noncovalently associated beta chain. In earlier genetic studies, electrophoretic analysis of C8 protein polymorphisms revealed several allelic variants of alpha-gamma and beta. These were governed by separate loci designated C8A and C8B for alpha-gamma and beta, respectively. Genetic linkage analyses indicated that these loci were linked to each other and to chromosome 1 marker loci PGM1 and Rh, but it was unclear at the time if C8A was a single locus coding for a single-chain precursor form of alpha-gamma or if separate loci existed for alpha and gamma. Since evidence now indicates that alpha, beta, and gamma are encoded by separate genes, cDNA probes corresponding to each subunit were used to make direct assignments of the individual loci. Analysis of somatic cell hybrids revealed that only the alpha and beta loci are located on chromosome 1. Parallel analysis of genomic DNA digests using 5' and 3'-specific cDNA probes showed they are physically linked (less than 2.5 kb) and oriented 5' alpha-beta 3'. Further probing of the hybrid panel revealed that gamma is located on chromosome 9q. Thus, the observed genetic linkage of alpha-gamma to beta must be determined solely by alpha. In accordance with these findings, the C8 loci should now be designated C8A, C8B, and C8G for alpha, beta and gamma, respectively.[1]


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