Group specific component (Gc) is an abundant plasma protein whose functional role is not clearly established. Gc protein is synthesised in the liver and is known to bind vitamin D, vitamin D metabolites, and G actin; Gc protein is also implicated in macrophage activation. Several polymorphic electrophoretic variants of Gc protein are found in all human populations; the most common alleles are Gc-1f, Gc-1s, and Gc-2. In previous studies, Gc allele frequencies, determined using isoelectric focusing or immunofixation or both, were significantly different in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) from matched controls, with an excess of Gc-2 in patients. Linkage association between Gc and TSC is unlikely since the Gc locus maps to chromosome 4q12, whereas the two common forms of TSC map to 9q34 and 16p13.1, respectively. However, a direct cause and effect relationship between Gc protein and TSC symptoms is possible. To investigate further the relationship between the Gc locus and TSC, two Gc restriction site polymorphisms, HaeIII and StyI, were typed in 43 unrelated white subjects with TSC. The frequencies of the restriction site polymorphisms in the TSC patients did not differ from those in control populations. Therefore a direct association between Gc type and TSC is unlikely. The previously reported association was either spurious or the result of typing errors in plasma from subjects with underlying abnormalities in plasma proteins.
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