Classical Fc receptors (FcRs) mediate the binding to and recognition of the Fc portion of antibodies and play an important role during immune responses in mammals. Although proteins similar to soluble FcRs have been identified in fish, little is known about the role of such proteins in fish immunity. Here, we cloned a cDNA sequence encoding a soluble Fc receptor for an immunoglobulin G (FcγR) homolog from ayu ( Plecoglossus altivelis
) (PaFcγRl). The predicted protein was composed of two immunoglobulin C2-like domains but lacked a transmembrane segment and a cytoplasmic tail. The PaFcγRl transcripts were distributed at low levels in all tested tissues, but significantly increased after Vibrio anguillarum
infection. The PaFcγRl protein was expressed in the head kidney, trunk kidney, and neutrophils. Recombinant PaFcγRl (rPaFcγRl) was secreted when transfected into mammalian cells and the native protein was also detected in serum upon infection. rPaFcγRl was also demonstrated to bind to ayu IgM, as assessed by cell transfection. Suppressive activity of the recombinant mature protein of PaFcγRl (rPaFcγRlm) on in vitro
anti-sheep red blood cell (SRBC) responses was detected by a modified hemolytic plaque forming cell assay. In conclusion, our study revealed that PaFcγRl is closely involved in the negative regulation of IgM production in the ayu spleen.