Complement factor H: sequence analysis of 221 kb of human genomic DNA containing the entire fH, fHR-1 and fHR-3 genes

Mol Immunol. Jan-Feb 2000;37(1-2):41-52. doi: 10.1016/s0161-5890(00)00024-9.


Complement factor H (fH) is a member of a family of proteins involved in the regulation of complement activation (RCA). These proteins share a common structural motif, the Short Consensus Repeat (SCR), which is structurally conserved among related genes and between phylogenetically divergent species. fH is composed of 20 such SCRs and a variety of biological functions have been localised to specific SCR domains. The majority of individual SCRs identified are encoded by single exons, and processes such as gene conversion, duplication and exon shuffling have been implicated in the evolution and genomic radiation of SCR-encoding genes. We have analysed two GenBank sequence entries relating to two overlapping PAC clones sequenced at the Sanger Centre which contain the entire human fH gene and two adjacent fH-related (fHR) genes, fHR-1 and fHR-3. Here, we report the detailed analysis of the assembled 221 kb of contiguous, ungapped genomic sequence from human chromosome 1q32, in part employing the RUMMAGE-DP automated annotation tool. Genomic duplications involving fH and fHR exons were identified and Alu/L1 repeat dating established that the duplications occurred after the separation of rodent and primate lineages. The analysis indicates that retrotransposition as well as single and multiple exon duplication events are likely to have been involved in SCR radiation and RCA gene evolution, facilitated by conservation of splice-phasing and the single-exon, single-SCR nature of the encoded domains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Base Sequence
  • Complement Factor H / genetics*
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Exons
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Sorting Signals / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Tagged Sites
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • CFH protein, human
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Complement Factor H
  • DNA