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Fc Receptors

  1. Shamir Jacobino,
  2. Anne Slomp,
  3. Peter Boross,
  4. Jeanette HW Leusen

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000916.pub3



How to Cite

Jacobino, S., Slomp, A., Boross, P. and Leusen, J. H. 2013. Fc Receptors. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013


Receptors for the Fc region of immunoglobulins (Igs) play a central role during an immune response as they link humoral responses to cellular activities. The majority of these leucocyte Fc receptors exist as heterooligomeric complexes with unique ligand-binding α chains and promiscuous accessory subunits involved in intracellular signal transduction. In humans, five major Fc receptor classes are known, FcγR for IgG, FcαR for IgA, FcɛR for IgE, FcμR for IgM and FcδR for IgD. Integration of both activating and inhibitory signals occurs on Ig-Fc engagement of Fc receptors. Given their vital role in maintaining balanced immunity, dysregulation of Fc receptor function may lead to inflammatory or autoimmune disease. As such, much effort is focussed on identifying which single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variations in Fc receptor genes are linked with disease and understanding of how these affect therapeutic options.

Key Concepts:

  • Fc receptors link the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system.

  • Cellular activities may be triggered by Fc receptor α chains independent of FcR γ chains.

  • Fc receptor ITAM and ITIM motifs transmit opposite signals to control leucocyte activation.

  • Inside-out regulation of Fc receptors influences their affinity for immunoglobulin ligands.

  • Fc receptor genetic variations are linked with inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer.


  • Fc receptors;
  • CD64;
  • CD32;
  • CD16;
  • CD89