Characterization of shark complement factor I gene(s): Genomic analysis of a novel shark-specific sequence

Dong Ho Shin, Barbara M. Webb, Miki Nakao, Sylvia L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Complement factor I is a crucial regulator of mammalian complement activity. Very little is known of complement regulators in non-mammalian species. We isolated and sequenced four highly similar complement factor I cDNAs from the liver of the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), designated as GcIf-1, GcIf-2, GcIf-3 and GcIf-4 (previously referred to as nsFI-a, -b, -c and -d) which encode 689, 673, 673 and 657 amino acid residues, respectively. They share 95% (≤) amino acid identities with each other, 35.4-39.6% and 62.8-65.9% with factor I of mammals and banded houndshark (Triakis scyllium), respectively. The modular structure of the GcIf is similar to that of mammals with one notable exception, the presence of a novel shark-specific sequence between the leader peptide (LP) and the factor I membrane attack complex (FIMAC) domain. The cDNA sequences differ only in the size and composition of the shark-specific region (SSR). Sequence analysis of each SSR has identified within the region two novel short sequences (SS1 and SS2) and three repeat sequences (RS1-3). Genomic analysis has revealed the existence of three introns between the leader peptide and the FIMAC domain, tentatively designated intron 1, intron 2, and intron 3 which span 4067, 2293 and 2082 bp, respectively. Southern blot analysis suggests the presence of a single gene copy for each cDNA type. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that complement factor I of cartilaginous fish diverged prior to the emergence of mammals. All four GcIf cDNA species are expressed in four different tissues and the liver is the main tissue in which expression level of all four is high. This suggests that the expression of GcIf isotypes is tissue-dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2299-2308
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology


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