Tec kinases regulate T-lymphocyte development and function: new insights into the roles of Itk and Rlk/Txk

Authors


Pamela L. Schwartzberg
National Institutes of Health–sNational Human Genome Research Institute
Building 49, Room 4A38
49 Convent Dr., MSC 4472
Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Tel.: +1 301 435 1906
Fax: +1 301 402 2170
e-mail: pams@nhgri.nih.gov

Abstract

Summary:  The Tec (tyrosine kinase expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma) family of non-receptor tyrosine kinases consists of five members: Tec, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk), inducible T-cell kinase (Itk), resting lymphocyte kinase (Rlk/Txk), and bone marrow-expressed kinase (Bmx/Etk). Although their functions are probably best understood in antigen receptor signaling, where they participate in the phosphorylation and regulation of phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ), it is now appreciated that these kinases contribute to signaling from many receptors and that they participate in multiple downstream pathways, including regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. In T cells, three Tec kinases are expressed, Itk, Rlk/Txk, and Tec. Itk is expressed at highest amounts and plays the major role in regulating signaling from the T-cell receptor. Recent studies provide evidence that these kinases contribute to multiple aspects of T-cell biology and have unique roles in T-cell development that have revealed new insight into the regulation of conventional and innate T-cell development. We review new findings on the Tec kinases with a focus on their roles in T-cell development and mature T-cell differentiation.

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