The serum level of the fourth component of complement (C4) in mice bearing the H-2k haplotype is only 1/10 to 1/20 of that of non-H-2k mice. We have analyzed C4 cDNA clones from B10.BR(H-2k) mouse liver and found aberrant C4 cDNA which contained a 200-base pair (bp) insertion between the exon 13 and exon 14 encoded sequences in addition to the normal C4 cDNA. The 5' 148 bp and the 3' 52 bp of this insert were derived from the B2 sequence, the short interspersed repeats of mouse genome, and the central part of intron 13, respectively. Sequence analysis of intron 13 of the C4k gene showed the presence of a complete copy of a B2 consensus sequence. The structure of aberrant C4 mRNA indicated that the possible 3' splice site in the B2 sequence and the cryptic 5' splice site in intron 13 were used. Both the insertion of the B2 sequence into intron 13 and the presence of aberrant mRNA in the liver were specific to H-2k-bearing mice, suggesting that the aberrant splicing due to the B2 insertion is the basis for low C4 expression in H-2k mice.