Decay accelerating factor (DAF) is a glycoprotein present on the surfaces of many types ofcells in contact with plasma, including erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets (reviewed in reference 1). A small amount of DAF is also present in serum. Numerous investigators have demonstrated that DAF inhibits the action of C3 convertases on cell surfaces, and its absence has been shown to be at least partially responsible for the abnormal sensitivity to lysis by complement exhibited by erythrocytes of patients with the acquired stem cell disorder paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) (2). Hereditary absence of DAF has not been previously described.
Tc(a) and Cr(a) are high-frequency human erythrocyte antigens . These antigens are part of a family of blood group antigens, designated Cromer related, which are all absent from the null phenotype cell IFC(-) , or Inab (3). Recently, Spring and colleagues (4) have identified two monoclonal antibodies which bound to high frequency red cell antigens absent from the Inab phenotype. They also demonstrated that these antibodies, as well as several human antisera to Cromer-related antigens, bound to a 70-kD glycoprotein when used to stain immunoblots of human erythrocyte membrane proteins . Because the wide tissue distribution of mAb reactivity, along with some of the biochemical characterization and immunoblotting data, was similar to that of DAF, we investigated whether the Cromer-related antigens Cr(a) and Tc(a) resided on the DAF molecule.