Complement component C4 genes are located within the central region of the human MHC. The genomic arrangement of these genes is complex, with each chromosome usually encoding either one or two C4 genes. C4 allotyping of a group of Western Australian Aborigines demonstrated certain discrepancies in the densitometric ratios between the C4A4 and the C4A3 protein bands; however, the mechanism causing the increase in density of the C4A4 band was unknown. Our aim was to determine whether the increase in densitometry was due to an increase in the expression of the C4A4 isotype, or whether these individuals carried a new complotype characterised by an increased gene copy number. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and Tag I RFLP analysis we will show that the apparent increase in C4A4 protein expression was due to the existence of new, previously uncharacterised Aboriginal complotypes defined by at least three C4 genes. Segregation analysis from an extensive family suggests that one of the new C4 complotypes is likely to contain the duplicated C4A4 isotype together with a C4B2 gene (C4A4, C4A4, C4B2) and is the first such chromosomal arrangement seen in this population group.