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Humorale Immunregulation
Prof. Dr. Hiromi Kubagawa

Humorale Immunregulation

Prof. Dr. Hiromi Kubagawa

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Humoral Immune Regulation
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)30 28460-782 Fax: +49 (0)30 28460-604

CV - Akademischer Werdegang und Schlüsselpublikationen (nur auf Englisch verfügbar)

Short Biosketch

I have been involved in studies of immunoglobulin (Ig) Fc receptors for more than 30 years, initially performing cellular and biochemical analyses and then molecular studies. The major scientific contribu­tions that my colleagues and I have made in this area include as follows.

(i) First demonstration of the expression and biochemical nature of IgA Fc receptor (FcαR/CD89) by myeloid cells, but not by lymphocytes. (ii) Definition of Fc receptor for polymeric IgA and IgM (Fcα/µR) as a remarkably stable homodimer expressed on the surface of follicular dendritic, but not B, cells. (iii) First genetic identification of the long-elusive FcµR by functional cloning. Other significant contributions are as follows. (i) Extensive analyses of the extent of clonal involvement in various B cell malignancies through the use of individually specific (idiotype) antibodies; studies demonstrating the precursor and post-isotype switch members of the neoplastic clones do not manifest malignant growth behavior. (ii) Analysis of Ig gene rearrangements and expression in human precursor B cells transformed by Epstein-Barr virus; study establishing that Ig light chain expression could occur before Ig heavy chain gene rearrangements. (iii) Identification of paire Ig-like receptors of activating (PIR-A) and inhibitory (PIR-B) isoforms expressed by B lymphocytes and myeloid cells in rodents on the basis of their limited homology with the human FcαR.

Scientific Career
  • Since 2015 Guest Senior Scientist, Humoral Immune Regulation, DRFZ, Berlin
  • Since 2014 Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, Alabama (AL)
  • 2006 – 2014 Professor, Dept. of Pathology, UAB, Birmingham, AL
  • 2000 – 2006 Research Professor, Dept. of Pathology, DDCI, UAB, Birmingham, AL
  • 1986 – 2000 Associate Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Division of Developmental and Clinical Immunology (DDCI), UAB, Birmingham, AL
  • 1986 – 2014 Scientist, Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, AL
  • 1986 – 1987 Visiting Scientist, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1983 – 1986 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pathology, CIU, UAB, Birmingham, AL
  • 1976 – 1982 Research Associate, Cellular Immunobiology Unit (CIU), UAB, Birmingham, AL
  • 1975 – 1976 Research Associate, Dept. of Pathology, Faculty of Med., Kyoto University, Kyoto
  • 1971 – 1974 Assistant Lecturer, Dept. of Pathology, Sch. of Med. , Nihon University, Tokyo
  • 1971 M.D., Juntendo University, School of Medicine (Med. License: No. 225016)
Boards and Memberships


  • Frontier Immunology
  • American Research Journal of Immunology
  • Antibodies
  • Journal of Immunology Innovation
  • Journal of Immune Research


  • American Association of Immunologists, since 1984
Third Party Funding
  • 2012 – 2014 R21 AI094625 (NIH/NIAID), Kubagawa (PI), “IgM Fc receptor in CLL”
  • 2010 – 2012 R56 AI082249 (NIH/NIAID), Kubagawa (PI), “Studies of Structure and Function of an Fc Receptor for IgM”
  • 1998 – 2011 RO1 AI042127 (NIH/NIAID), Kubagawa (PI), “Studies of Paired Immunoglobulin-Like Receptors”
Key Publications
  1. Skopnik, C.M., Al-Qaisi, K., Calvert, R.A., Enghard, P., Radbruch, A., Sutton, B.J., and Kubagawa, H.: Identification of amino acid residues in human IgM Fc receptor (FcµR) critical for IgM binding. Front. Immunol. 11:618327, 2021.
  2. Kubagawa, H., Honjo, K., Ohkura, N., Sakaguchi, S., Radbruch, A., Melchers, F., and Jani, P.K.: Functional roles of the IgM Fc receptor in the immune system. Front. Immunol. 10:945, 2019.
  3. Honjo, H., Kubagawa, Y., Kearney, J.F., and Kubagawa, H.: Unique ligand-binding property of IgM Fc receptor. J. Immunol. 194: 1975-1982, 2015.
  4. Li, F.J., Kubagawa, Y., McCollum, M.K., Wilson, L., Motohashi, T., Bertoli, L.F., Barton, J.C., Barnes, S., Davis, R.S., and Kubagawa, H.: Enhanced levels of both membrane-bound and soluble forms of IgM Fc receptor (FcµR) in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood 118: 4902-4909, 2011.
  5. Kubagawa, H., Oka, S., Kubagawa, Y., Torii, I., Takayama, E., Kang, D.W., Gartland, G.L., Bertoli, L.F., Mori, H., Takatsu, H., Kitamura, T., Ohno, H., and Wang, J.Y.: Identity of the elusive IgM Fc receptor (FcµR) in humans. J. Exp. Med. 206:2779-2793, 2009.
  6. Uehara, T., Bléry, M., Kang, D.W., Chen, C.C., Ho, L.L., Gartland, G.L., Liu, F.T., Vivier, E., Cooper, M.D., and Kubagawa, H.: Inhibition of IgE-mediated mast cell activation by the paired immunoglobulin-like receptor PIR-B. J. Clin. Invest. 108:1041-1050, 2001.
  7. Smith, P.D., Mosteller-Barnum, M., Smythies, L.E., Sibley, D.A., Russell, M.W., Merger, M., Graham, M.F., Shimada, T., and Kubagawa, H.: Intestinal macrophages lack CD14 and CD89 and consequently are down-regulated for LPS- and IgA-mediated activities. J. Immunol. 167:2651-2656, 2001.
  8. Kubagawa, H., Burrows, P.D. and Cooper, M.D.: A novel pair of immunoglobulin-like receptors (PIR) is expressed by B cells and myeloid cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:5261-5266, 1997.
  9. Monteiro, R.C., Hostoffer, R.W., Cooper, M.D., Bonner, J.R., Gartland, G.L., and Kubagawa, H.: Definition of IgA receptors on eosinophils and their enhanced expression in allergic individuals. J. Clin. Invest. 92:1681-1685, 1993.
  10. Kubagawa, H., Cooper, M.D., Carroll, A.J., and Burrows, P.D.: Light chain gene expression before heavy chain gene rearrangement in pre-B cells transformed by Epstein-Barr virus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86:2356-2360, 1989.
  11. Kubagawa, H., Mayumi, M., Crist, W.M., and Cooper, M.D.: Immunoglobulin heavy chain switching in pre-B leukemias. Nature 301:340-342, 1983.
  12. Kubagawa, H., Vogler, L.B., Capra, J.D., Conrad, M.E., Lawton, A.R., and Cooper, M.D.: Studies on the clonal origin of multiple myeloma: Use of individually specific (idiotype) antibodies to trace the oncogenic event to its earliest point of expression in B-cell differentiation. J. Exp. Med. 150:792-807, 1979.
AG Kubagawa
An vorderster Linie des Abwehrsystems
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