Mapping of the binding site for FcμR in human IgM-Fc

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FcμR is a high-affinity receptor for the Fc portion of human IgM. It participates in B cell activation, cell survival and proliferation, but the full range of its functions remains to be elucidated. The receptor has an extracellular immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain homologous to those in Fcα/μR and pIgR, but unlike these two other IgM receptors which also bind IgA, FcμR exhibits a binding specificity for only IgM-Fc. Previous studies have suggested that the IgM/FcμR interaction mainly involves the Cμ4 domains with possible contributions from either Cμ3 or Cμ2. To define the binding site more precisely, we generated three recombinant IgM-Fc proteins with specific mutations in the Cμ3 and Cμ4 domains, as well as a construct lacking the Cμ2 domains, and analyzed their interaction with the extracellular Ig-like domain of FcμR using surface plasmon resonance analysis. There is a binding site for FcμR in each IgM heavy chain. Neither the absence of the Cμ2 domains nor the quadruple mutant D340S/Q341G/D342S/T343S (in Cμ3 adjacent to Cμ2) affected FcμR binding, whereas double mutant K361D/D416R (in Cμ3 at the Cμ4 interface) substantially decreased binding, and a single mutation Q510R (in Cμ4) completely abolished FcμR binding. We conclude that glutamine at position 510 in Cμ4 is critical for IgM binding to FcμR. This will facilitate discrimination between the distinct effects of FcμR interactions with soluble IgM and with the IgM BCR.
Original languageEnglish
Article number140266
Issue number1
Early online date23 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2019


  • Fc receptor
  • IgM antibody
  • Immunoglobulin-like domain
  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Surface plasmon resonance


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