Genetic analysis of complement C1s deficiency associated with systemic lupus erythernatosus highlights alternative splicing of normal C1s gene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Deficiencies of complement proteins of the classical pathway are strongly associated with the development of autoimmune diseases. Deficiency of Clr has been observed to occur concomitantly with deficiency in Cls and 9 out of 15 reported cases presented systemic lupus erythernatosus (SLE). Here, we describe a family in which all four children are deficient in Cls but only two of them developed SLE. Hemolytic activity mediated by the alternative and the lectin pathways were normal, but classical pathway activation was absent in all children's sera. Cls was undetectable, while in the parents' sera it was lower than in the normal controls. The levels of Clr observed in the siblings and parents sera were lower than in the control, while the concentrations of other complement proteins (C3, C4, MBL and MASP-2) were normal in all family members. Impairment of Cls synthesis was observed in the patients' fibroblasts when analyzed by confocal microscopy. We show that all four siblings are homozygous for a mutation at position 938 in exon 6 of the Cls cDNA that creates a premature stop codon. Our investigations led us to reveal the presence of previously uncharacterized splice variants of Cls mRNA transcripts in normal human cells. These variants are derived from the skipping of exon 3 and from the use of an alternative 3' splice site within intron I which increases the size of exon 2 by 87 nucleotides.


  • Mariane T Amano
  • Virginia P L Ferriani
  • Marlene P C Florido
  • Ediniara S Reis
  • Maria I M V Delcolli
  • Ana E C S Azzolini
  • Ana I Assis-Pandochi
  • Anders Sjöholm
  • Chuck S Farah
  • Jens C Jensenius
  • Lourdes Isaac
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area


  • autoinimunity, immunodeficiency diseases, complement, human, systemic, lupus erythernatosus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1693-1702
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch