Immunoelectron microscopic studies in human neutrophils showed that FcRIII was present on the plasma membrane, in the Golgi complex, and in many small vesicles (120 to 180 nm). FcRIII was not found in specific or azurophilic granules as shown by immunogold double-labeling experiments, visualizing both FcRIII and either lactoferrin (a marker of specific granules) or myeloperoxidase (a marker for azurophilic granules). Because the occurrence of FcRIII in the Golgi complex suggested that biosynthesis of this receptor occurs in these cells, metabolic labeling experiments were performed. Immunoprecipitation of FcRIII from NP-40 lysates of cells labeled with 35S-methionine showed a diffuse 50- to 70-Kd band corresponding with the band noted after immunoprecipitation of FcRIII from surface iodinated cells. These findings show that de novo synthesis of FcRIII occurs in neutrophils and suggest that at least some of the small vesicles containing FcRIII derive from the Golgi complex and thus are involved in transport of newly synthesized FcRIII to the plasma membrane.

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