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Eur J Immunol. 1989 Apr;19(4):775-8.

Membrane anchoring and spontaneous release of CD16 (FcR III) by natural killer cells and granulocytes.

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Becton Dickinson Monoclonal Center, Inc., Mountain View, CA 94043.


CD16 is an IgG Fc receptor that is predominantly expressed on human natural killer (NK) cells and granulocytes. The CD16 antigen expressed on neutrophils is a 50 to 70-kDa glycoprotein attached to the plasma membrane by a phosphatidylinositol-glycan linkage that is susceptible to cleavage by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PIPLC). By contrast, treatment of NK cells with PIPLC did not cleave CD16 from the cell surface. Biochemical analysis of the deglycosylated CD16 revealed a substantial difference in the core polypeptides expressed by NK cells and granulocytes. Culture of radiolabeled NK cells resulted in the spontaneous release of a CD16 molecule, smaller than the membrane form of CD16. These findings demonstrate that structural differences exist in the CD16 antigens expressed on NK cells and granulocytes that may potentially influence their functional activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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