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Evaluation of Human FcγRIIA (CD32) and FcγRIIIB (CD16) Polymorphisms in Caucasians and African-Americans Using Salivary DNA

  • Rob C. A. A. van Schie
  • Mark E. Wilson
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2000
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Two classes of low-affinity receptors for the Fc region of immunoglobulin G (IgG) (FcγR) are constitutively expressed on resting human neutrophils. These receptors, termed FcγRIIa (CD32) and FcγRIIIb (CD16), display biallelic polymorphisms which have functional consequences with respect to binding and/or ingestion of targets opsonized by human IgG subclass antibodies. The H131-R131 polymorphism of CD32 influences binding of human IgG2 and, to a lesser extent, human IgG3 to neutrophils. The neutrophil antigen (NA1-NA2) polymorphism of CD16 influences the efficiency of phagocytosis of bacteria opsonized by human IgG1 and IgG3. These polymorphisms may influence host susceptibility to certain infectious and/or autoimmune diseases, prompting interest in the development of facile methods for determination of CD32 and CD16 genotype in various clinical settings. We previously reported that genomic DNA from saliva is a suitable alternative to DNA from blood in PCR-based analyses of CD32 and CD16 polymorphisms. In the present study, we utilized for the first time this salivary DNA-based methodology to define CD32 and CD16 genotypes in 271 Caucasian and 118 African-American subjects and to investigate possible linkage disequilibrium between certain CD32 and CD16 genotypes in these two ethnic groups. H131 and R131 gene frequencies were 0.45 and 0.55, respectively, among Caucasians and 0.59 among African-Americans. NA1 and NA2 gene frequencies were 0.38 and 0.62 among Caucasians and 0.39 and 0.61 among African-Americans. Since FcγRIIa and FcγRIIIb synergize in triggering neutrophils, we also assessed the frequency of different CD32 and CD16 genotype combinations in these two groups. In both groups, the R/R131-NA2/NA2 genotype combination was more common than the H/H131-NA1/NA1 combination (threefold for Caucasians versus sevenfold for African-Americans). Whether individuals with the combined R/R131-NA2/NA2 genotype are at greater risk for development of infectious and/or autoimmune diseases requires further investigation, which can be conveniently performed using DNA from saliva rather than blood.

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