A major pathway in the clearance of pathogens involves the coating of the pathogen with specific antibodies, and the binding of the antibody Fc region to cell receptors. This can trigger engulfment of the pathogen by phagocytes or lysis by killer cells. By oligonucleotide site-directed mutagenesis we have engineered a single amino acid change in a mouse IgG2b antibody (Glu 235----Leu) which now enables the antibody to bind to the FcRI (high affinity) receptor on human monocytes with a 100-fold improvement in affinity. This indicates that Leu 235 is a major determinant in the binding of antibody to FcRI and that the receptor may interact directly with the region linking the CH2 domain to the hinge. Tailoring the affinity of antibodies for cell receptors could help dissect their role in clearing pathogen.