The human IgA FcR (FcαRI; CD89) mediates a variety of immune system functions including degranulation, endocytosis, phagocytosis, cytokine synthesis, and cytokine release. We have identified a common, nonsynonymous, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the coding region of CD89 (844A→G) (rs16986050), which changes codon 248 from AGC (Ser248) to GGC (Gly248) in the cytoplasmic domain of the receptor. The two different alleles demonstrate significantly different FcαRI-mediated intracellular calcium mobilization and degranulation in rat basophilic leukemia cells and cytokine production (IL-6 and TNF-α) in murine macrophage P388D1 cells. In the absence of FcR γ-chain association in P388D1 cells, the Ser 248-FcαRI allele does not mediate cytokine production, but the Gly248-FcαRI allele retains the capacity to mediate a robust production of proinflammatory cytokine. This allele-dependent difference is also seen with FcαRI-mediated IL-6 cytokine release by human neutrophils ex vivo. These findings and the enrichment of the proinflammatory Gly 248-FcαRI allele in systemic lupas erythematosus populations in two ethnic groups compared with their respective non-systemic lupus erythematosus controls suggest that FcαRI (CD89) α-chain alleles may affect receptor-mediated signaling and play an important role in the modulation of immune responses in inflammatory diseases.