The fourth component of human complement (C4) was shown to be composed of three distinct polypeptide chains linked by disulfide bonds and noncovalent forces. The sum of the molecular weights of the chains equalled that of the intact molecule. The mol wt of the α-, ß-, and γ-chains were respectively, 93,000, 78,000, and 33,000 daltons. Action of C1s on C4 affected only the α-chain, reducing its mol wt to 87,000 daltons. The size of the activation peptide. C4a, is therefore estimated to be 6,000 and that of the major fragment C4b, 198,000 daltons. Periodic acid-Schiff-stained SDS polyacrylamide gels of reduced C4 revealed carbohydrate to be associated with all three chains. A modification of the original method of isolation of C4 is presented.

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