Kinetics of ligand binding to the type 1 Fc epsilon receptor on mast cells

Biochemistry. 1991 Apr 9;30(14):3473-83. doi: 10.1021/bi00228a018.


Rates of association and dissociation of several specific monovalent ligands to and from the type I Fc epsilon receptor (Fc epsilon RI) were measured on live mucosal type mast cells of the rat line RBL-2H3. The ligands employed were a monoclonal murine IgE and Fab fragments prepared from three different, Fc epsilon RI-specific monoclonal IgG class antibodies. These monoclonals (designated H10, J17, and F4) were shown previously to trigger mediator secretion by RBL-2H3 mast cells upon binding to and dimerization of the Fc epsilon RI. Analysis of the kinetics shows that the minimal mechanism to which all data can be fitted involves two consecutive steps: namely, ligand binding to a low-affinity state of the receptor, followed by a conformational transition into a second, higher affinity state h of the receptor-ligand complex. These results resolve the recently noted discrepancy between the affinity of IgE binding to the Fc epsilon RI as determined by means of binding equilibrium measurements [Ortega et al. (1988) EMBO J. 7, 4101] and the respective parameter derived from the ratio of the rate constant of rat IgE dissociation and the initial rate of rat IgE association [Wank et al. (1983) Biochemistry 22, 954]. The probability of undergoing the conformational transition differs for the four different Fc epsilon RI-ligand complexes: while binding of Fab-H10 and IgE favors the h state, binding of Fab-J17 and Fab-F4 preferentially maintains the low-affinity 1 state (at 25 degrees C). The temperature dependence of the ligand interaction kinetics with the Fc epsilon RI shows that the activation barrier for ligand association is determined by positive enthalpic and entropic contributions. The activation barrier of the 1----h transition, however, has negative enthalpic contributions counteracted by a decrease in activation entropy. The h----1 transition encounters a barrier that is predominantly entropic and similar for all ligands employed, thus suggesting that the Fc epsilon RI undergoes a similar conformational transition upon binding any of the ligands.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Kinetics
  • Ligands
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Fc / immunology*
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Fc
  • Immunoglobulin E