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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Src family kinase Hck regulates mast cell activation by suppressing an inhibitory Src family kinase Lyn.

IgE/antigen-dependent mast cell activation plays a central role in immediate hypersensitivity and other allergic reactions. The Src family tyrosine kinase (SFK) Lyn is activated by the cross-linking of high-affinity IgE receptors (FcepsilonRI). Activated Lyn phosphorylates the FcepsilonRI subunits, beta and gamma, leading to subsequent activation of various signaling pathways. Lyn also plays a negative regulatory function by activating negative regulatory molecules. Another SFK, Fyn, also contributes to mast cell degranulation by inducing Gab2-dependent microtubule formation. Here we show that a third SFK, Hck, plays a critical role in mast cell activation. Degranulation and cytokine production are reduced in FcepsilonRI-stimulated hck(-/-) mast cells. The reduced degranulation can be accounted for by defects in Gab2 phosphorylation and microtubule formation. Importantly, Lyn activity is elevated in hck(-/-) cells, leading to increased phosphorylation of several negative regulators. However, positive regulatory events, such as activation of Syk, Btk, JNK, p38, Akt, and NF-kappaB, are substantially reduced in hck(-/-) mast cells. Analysis of lyn(-/-)hck(-/-), lyn(-/-)FcepsilonRIbeta(-/-), and hck(-/-)FcepsilonRIbeta(-/-) cells shows that Hck exerts these functions via both Lyn-dependent and Lyn-independent mechanisms. Thus, this study has revealed a hierarchical regulation among SFK members to fine-tune mast cell activation.[1]


  1. The Src family kinase Hck regulates mast cell activation by suppressing an inhibitory Src family kinase Lyn. Hong, H., Kitaura, J., Xiao, W., Horejsi, V., Ra, C., Lowell, C.A., Kawakami, Y., Kawakami, T. Blood (2007) [Pubmed]
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