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The high-affinity receptor for immunoglobulin E (IgE), FcεRI, is an αβγ2 tetramer found on mast cells, basophils, and several other types of immune effector cells. The interaction of IgE with the α-subunit of FcεRI is central to the pathogenesis of allergy. Detailed knowledge of the mode of interaction of FcεRI with IgE may facilitate the development of inhibitors for general use in the treatment of allergic disease. To this end we have performed site-directed mutagenesis on a soluble form of the FcεRI α-chain (sFcεRIα). The effects of four mutations in the second immunoglobulin-like domain of sFcεRIα upon the kinetics of binding to IgE and fragments of IgE have been analyzed using surface plasmon resonance. As described in the preceding paper of this issue [Henry, A. J., et al. (1997) Biochemistry 36, 15568-15578], biphasic binding kinetics was observed. Two of the mutations had significant effects on binding: K117D reduced the affinity of sFcεRIα for IgE by a factor of 30, while D159K increased the affinity for IgE by a factor of 7, both principally through changes in the rates of dissociation of the slower phase of the interaction. Circular dichroism spectra of sFcεRIα incorporating either of these mutations were indistinguishable from those of wild-type sFcεRIα, demonstrating that the native conformation had not been disrupted. Our results, together with those from site-directed mutagenesis on fragments of IgE presented in the accompanying paper, define the contact surfaces in the IgE:sFcεRIα complex.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





15579 - 15588