We characterized Fc receptor III (FcR III) on human neutrophils and found it to be heavily glycosylated and polymorphic. In some individuals, FcR III that had been digested with N-glycanase appeared after SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions as two bands with apparent molecular masses of 33 and 29 kD. In other individuals, N-glycanase-treated FcR III appeared as a single band with an Mr of either 33 or 29 kD. After SDS-PAGE of N-glycanase-treated FcR III under nonreducing conditions, the apparent Mr of each structural type was decreased, suggesting the presence of intramolecular disulfide bonds. Digestion of the 33-kD band and the 29-kD band with Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease yielded similar, but not identical, peptide maps. Thus, at least two polymorphic forms of FcR III are expressed on human neutrophils. The structural polymorphism of neutrophil FcR III correlated with previously described antigenic polymorphisms detected by monoclonal antibody Gran 11 and by alloantisera which recognize epitopes of the biallelic, neutrophil antigen (NA) system. Individuals whose neutrophils expressed the two-band structural type of FcR III were NA1NA2 heterozygotes. Individuals whose neutrophils expressed the single 33-kD band structural type were NA2NA2 homozygotes, and individuals whose neutrophils expressed the single 29-kD band structural type were NA1NA1 homozygotes. These findings indicate that antigenic and structural polymorphisms of human neutrophil FcR III are related and can be accounted for by differences at the level of primary protein structure.
P A Ory, I M Goldstein, E E Kwoh, S B Clarkson