This gene is a member of the regulators of complement activation (RCA) family and is located in the 'cluster RCA' region of chromosome 1. The gene encodes a monomeric single-pass type I membrane glycoprotein found on erythrocytes, leukocytes, glomerular podocytes, hyalocytes, and splenic follicular dendritic cells. The Knops blood group system is a system of antigens located on this protein. The protein mediates cellular binding to particles and immune complexes that have activated complement. Decreases in expression of this protein and/or mutations in its gene have been associated with gallbladder carcinomas, mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and sarcoidosis. Mutations in this gene have also been associated with a reduction in Plasmodium falciparum rosetting, conferring protection against severe malaria. Alternate allele-specific splice variants, encoding different isoforms, have been characterized. Additional allele specific isoforms, including a secreted form, have been described but have not been fully characterized.
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