Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 124, issue 1 (2005) pp. 132-139
The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) for IgG has been shown to be responsible for IgG transport and to be involved in IgG catabolism. In this study, we show expression of FcRn in normal human epidermal keratinocytes. By RT-PCR, we demonstrate the FcRn alpha-chain mRNA obtained from cultured keratinocytes creating a 457 bp product as confirmed by sequence analysis. Northern blot analysis shows a 1.5 kb transcript. Real-time PCR reveals consistent expression of FcRn alpha-chain mRNA in human keratinocytes from different donors. Anti-FcRn alpha2-extracellular domain and anti-FcRn cytoplasmic tail antibody (Ab) directed against defined antigenic targets were generated and used for immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation revealing protein expression of the 46 kDa FcRn alpha-chain. By immunofluorescence microscopy, we find granular-vesicular staining for FcRn alpha-chain in keratinocytes. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis gives predominantly an intracellular distribution of FcRn in keratinocytes. Biochemically, we demonstrate Fc-dependent binding of human IgG at acidic pH. In normal human epidermis, we find a cytoplasmic vesicular staining of predominantly basal and suprabasal keratinocytes. In summary, we demonstrate expression of a functional FcRn in normal human epidermal keratinocytes. These findings further emphasize the role of keratinocytes as immunomodulating cells in inflammatory and immunologic processes of the skin.
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