The reactivity of a soluble Fc receptor from a group C streptococcus ( FcRc ) was compared antigenically and functionally with the staphylococcal Fc receptor, protein A. Protein A and FcRc were found to inhibit each others' binding to the Fc region of human IgG, indicating that they bind to sites that are in close proximity on the Fc region of human IgG. The two bacterial Fc receptors were antigenically unrelated. Differences were observed in the species and subclass reactivity of the two receptors. The patterns of binding of protein A and FcRc under various conditions suggested that these receptors reacted with distinct regions on the Fc region of immunoglobulins. FcRc bound more efficiently to goat, sheep, and cow IgG, protein A bound more efficiently to dog IgG, and neither receptor bound to rat IgG. Differences were also observed in the reactivity towards human IgG subclasses. The FcRc bound to all samples of the four human IgG subclass standards. Protein A bound to IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4, and to one of two IgG3 myeloma proteins tested. The reactivity of our soluble FcRc corresponds to a type III streptococcal Fc receptor classified by the reactivity of intact bacteria.

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