The relationship between the characterized mouse regulators of complement activation (RCA) genes and the 190-kD mouse complement receptor 1 (MCR1), 155-kD mouse complement receptor 2 (MCR2), and mouse p65 is unclear. One mouse RCA gene, designated MCR2 (or Cr2), encodes alternatively spliced 21 and 15 short consensus repeat (SCR)-containing transcripts that crosshybridize with cDNAs of both human CR2 and CR1, or CR2 alone, respectively. A five SCR-containing transcript derived from a second unique gene, designated Crry, also crosshybridizes with human CR1. We have previously shown that the 155-kD MCR2 is encoded by the 15 SCR-containing transcript. To analyze the protein products of the other transcripts, which are considered the genetic homologues of human CR1, we have expressed the 21 and the 5 SCR-containing cDNAs in the human K562 erythroleukemia cell line. We demonstrate that cells expressing the 21 SCR transcript express the 190-kD MCR1 protein. These cells react with five unique rat anti-MCR1 monoclonal antibodies, including the 8C12 antibody considered to be monospecific for MCR1. In addition, these cells efficiently form rosettes with mouse C3b-bearing sheep erythrocytes. In contrast, cells expressing the five SCR-containing Crry transcript are strongly recognized by an anti-human CR1 antibody that also defines the mouse p65 protein. Using a functional assay that measures the surface deposition of C3 activated via the classical complement pathway, we show that Crry/p65-expressing cells have a markedly decreased amount of C3 deposited on them as compared with control cells expressing the antisense construct or cells expressing MCR1 or MCR2. This suggests that Crry has intrinsic complement regulatory activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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