Binding and transport of polymeric Igs (pIgA and IgM) across epithelia is mediated by the polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR), which is expressed on the basolateral surface of secretory epithelial cells. Although an Fc receptor for IgA (FcαR) has been identified on myeloid cells and some cultured mesangial cells, the expression of an FcαR on epithelial cells has not been described. In this study, binding of IgA to a human epithelial line, HT- 29/19A, with features of differentiated colonic epithelial cells, was examined. Radiolabeled monomeric IgA (mIgA) showed a dose-dependent, saturable, and cation-independent binding to confluent monolayers of HT- 29/19A cells. Excess of unlabeled mIgA, but not IgG or IgM, competed for the mIgA binding, indicating that the binding was IgA isotype-specific and was not mediated by the pIgR. The lack of competition by asialoorosomucoid and the lack of requirement for divalent cations excluded the possibility that IgA binding to HT-29/19A cells was due to the asialoglycoprotein receptor or β-1,4-galactosyltransferase, previously described on HT-29 cells. Moreover, the FcαR (CD89) protein and message were undetectable in HT-29/19A cells. FACS analysis of IgA binding demonstrated two discrete populations of HT- 29/19 cells, which bound different amounts of mIgA. IgA binding to other colon carcinoma cell lines was also demonstrated by FACS analysis, suggesting that an IgA receptor, distinct from the pIgR, asialoglycoprotein receptor, galactosyltransferase, and CD89 is constitutively expressed on cultured human enterocytes. The function of this novel IgA receptor in mucosal immunity remains to be elucidated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy