Fc gamma receptors are important components in the binding and phagocytosis of IgG-sensitized cells. Studies on the role of these receptors have been limited by the fact that most hematopoietic cells express more than one Fc gamma receptor. We studied the role of Fc gamma RIIA in isolation on a human erythroleukemia cell line (HEL) which expresses Fc gamma RIIA as its only Fc gamma receptor. HEL cells were observed to bind and phagocytose IgG-sensitized red blood cells (RBCs) in a dose-dependent manner. We then examined the role of Fc gamma RI and Fc gamma RII in isolation and in combination, in transfected COS-1 cells. Fc gamma RIIA-transfected COS cells also mediated both the binding and phagocytosis of IgG-sensitized RBCs. In contrast, phagocytosis was not observed in Fc gamma RI-transfected cells, although these cells avidly bound IgG-sensitized RBCs. Furthermore, coexpression of both receptors by doubly transfected cells did not affect the phagocytic efficiency of Fc gamma RIIA. These studies establish that Fc gamma RIIA can mediate phagocytosis and suggest that transfected COS-1 cells provide a model for examining this process. Since HEL cells exhibit characteristics of cells of the megakaryocyte-platelet lineage, including expression of Fc gamma RII as the only Fc gamma receptor, Fc gamma RIIA on megakaryocytes and platelets may be involved in the ingestion of IgG-containing immune complexes. Furthermore, these studies indicate that Fc gamma RI and Fc gamma RIIA differ in their requirements for transduction of a phagocytic signal.
Z Indik, C Kelly, P Chien, A I Levinson, A D Schreiber