Mouse liver RNA analyzed by Northern blotting with a full-length complement factor H cDNA probe demonstrates the 4.4-kilobase (kb) H mRNA as well as three additional hybridizing species of 3.5, 2.8, and 1.8 kb, respectively. Further characterization of these alternative transcripts was pursued by isolation of additional transcripts was pursued by isolation of additional cDNAs from a liver library using a full-length H probe. Twelve clones homologous to but distinct from H were isolated, analyzed by restriction mapping, and divided into four classes, A, B, C, and D, based on sequences. Clones from classes A, B, and C all contained nearly identical 5'-untranslated regions and leader sequences that differed from H at more than 50% of their nucleotide positions. The 5'-untranslated and leader sequences of the class D clone were unrelated to the corresponding regions of H or the class A, B, or C clones. The remaining portions of the H-related cDNAs were made up of short consensus repeats, 7 in class A, 4 in class B, 13 in class C, and 5 in class D. To determine the relationship between the H-related transcripts and the cDNA clones. Northern blots of liver RNA were analyzed by hybridization with two probes, one specific for the class D cDNA and the other reacting specifically with the class A, B, and C cDNAs. The class A/B/C probe detected transcripts of 3.5, 2.8, and 1.8 kb in liver RNA, and the class D probe hybridized to a distinct 1.8-kb message. Additionally, a cosmid genomic library was screened with H cDNA, and nine H-related clones were isolated. They spanned a region of ~ 120 kb, defining at least two discrete H-related gene loci. These results identify new members of the superfamily of C3b/C4b binding protein genes.