We have found that amino acid residues necessary for C1q and Fc gamma R binding of human IgG1 are located in the N-terminal region of the CH2 domain, residues 231-238, using a matched set of engineered antibodies based on the anti-HLA-DR antibody L243. Changing the leucine 235 in the CH2 region of IgG3 and IgG4 to glutamic acid was already known to abolish Fc gamma RI binding. We have confirmed this for IgG1 and also found a concomitant abolition of human complement lysis with retention of Fc gamma RIII-mediated function. Changing the glycine at 237 to alanine of IgG1 also abolished Fc gamma RI binding and reduced human complement lysis and Fc gamma RIII-mediated function. Exchanging the whole region 233-236 with the sequence found in human IgG2, abolished Fc gamma RI binding and human complement lysis and reduced Fc gamma RIII-mediated function of IgG1. In contrast, a change in the previously described C1q-binding motif, from lysine at 320 to alanine, had no effect on IgG1-mediated complement lysis.