Two membrane glycoproteins that bound immune complexes and inhibited Fc-receptor- (FcR-)mediated functions in vitro were purified from human FcR+ chronic-lymphocytic-leukaemia cells. A multi-step purification was developed, consisting essentially in: (i) Tween 40 extraction of crude cell membranes; (ii) solubilization of membrane fragments by Renex-30; (iii) isolation of glycoproteins by affinity chromatography on Lens culinaris haemagglutinin-Sepharose; (iv) papain treatment of the eluted glycoproteins followed by gel-filtration chromatography; (v) purification by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis of two molecular species from the protein-size fraction enriched for immune-complex-binding activity. The two electrophoretically isolated components displayed apparent molecular masses of 70 and 45 kDa by SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and restricted charge heterogeneity by two-dimensional analysis. Two-dimensional peptide mapping revealed the presence of many peptides in common between the two proteins and the absence of a number of peptides in the 45 kDa component. These two polypeptides were used as immunogens to produce polyclonal antibodies that cross-reacted with both proteins and specifically inhibited FcR-mediated reactions in vitro. Furthermore, FcR-related components from detergent-extracted lysates of the human K562 and U937 cell lines or human placental membranes were revealed by the putative anti-FcR antibodies adsorbed on Protein A-Sepharose.

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