Background: Complement receptor type 1 (CR1), which bears the Knops (Kn [KN]) blood group antigens, is involved in the rosetting of Plasmodium falciparum- infected RBCs with uninfected cells. As a first step in understanding this interaction, the molecular basis for the blood group antigens encoded by CR1 was investigated. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: An antibody from a white donor who exhibited an apparent anti-Sl(a) was used for population studies of several racial groups. The donor's genomic DNA was sequenced to identify the Sl(a) mutation and other mutations. RESULTS: The donor with anti-Sl(a) typed as Sl(a+) with some sera and had the CR1 genotype AA at bp 4828 (R1601). However, she was homozygous for a new mutation (GG) at bp 4855 changing amino acid 1610 from S1610 to T1610 (S1610T). This mutation occurred in heterozygous form in eight white and one Asian donor. The site is only nine amino acids from the previously described Sl(a) polymorphism and appears to produce a new conformational epitope. CONCLUSION: The antigen formerly known as Sl(a) can now be subdivided. A new terminology is proposed that recognizes both linear and conformational epitopes on the CR1 protein. At amino acid 1601, Sl 1 (Sl(a)) is represented by R, Sl 2 (Vil) is represented by glycine, and Sl 3 requires both R1601 and S1610. Sl 4 and Sl 5 are hypothetical epitopes represented by S1610 and T1610, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2002


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