Fc receptor homologs are a recently identified family of proteins homologous to FcγRI, found on human and mouse B cells. One of these, FREB/FcRX/FCRL, was found to be unique since it lacks a transmembrane domain and is expressed intracellularly within germinal center B cells. We have identified in humans and mice a new Fc receptor homolog, FREB2, that blends conserved elements of the classical Fc gamma receptors with structural motifs previously thought to be unique to FREB1. This protein is comprised of three immunoglobulin-like domains with high homology to those in FcγRI, and a C-terminus containing a proline-rich stalk region followed by a leucine-rich amphipathic alpha helix. Like FREB1, FREB2 is expressed as an intracellular protein. In murine splenocytes, RNA transcripts for each of the two proteins can be amplified from germinal center B cells. However, immunohistochemical analysis of human tonsils indicates that expression of FREB1 and FREB2 is mutually exclusive in non-neoplastic cells. Importantly, FREB2 expression within human tonsils appears to be limited to a small subset of nonproliferating germinal center B cells, suggesting that it may play a role in regulating clonal expansion or differentiation of B cells during the germinal center reaction.
- Fc receptor homolog
- Germinal center