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The non-obese diabetic mouse (NOD) expresses a unique form of the high affinity receptor for IgG (FcgammaRI), containing multiple mutations that result in substitutions and insertions of amino acids and a truncated cytoplasmic tail. As a result of these major changes, receptor affinity for IgG increases 10-fold over that of wild-type FcgammaRI from BALB/c mice, while the specificity for ligand is retained. Kinetic analysis revealed that while the association rate of IgG with FcgammaRI from NOD mice (FcgammaRI-NOD) and FcgammaRI from BALB/c mice (FcgammaRI-BALB) is similar, IgG bound much more tightly to FcgammaRI-NOD as revealed by a profoundly diminished dissociation rate. Transfection studies demonstrated that FcgammaRI-NOD was expressed at one-tenth of the level of FcgammaRI-BALB. Although mouse FcgammaRI was previously not known to associate with the FcepsilonRI gamma-subunit, transfection of COS-7 cells demonstrates that like human FcgammaRI, mouse FcgammaRI is also able to associate with this signaling subunit. Furthermore, expression levels of FcgammaRI-NOD were not restored by the presence of the FcepsilonRI gamma-subunit. The difference in the levels of expression was mapped to mutations in the extracellular region of FcgammaRI-NOD as replacement of the extracellular domains with those of human FcgammaRI or FcgammaRI-BALB restored expression to that of human FcgammaRI or FcgammaRI-BALB.