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Keywords:

  • ITAM signaling;
  • immunoreceptors;
  • inhibitory pathways;
  • myeloid cells;
  • TLRs

Summary:  The adapter proteins DAP12 and FcRγ associate with a wide spectrum of receptors in a variety of innate immune cells to mediate intracellular signaling pathways when their cognate receptor is engaged. These adapter proteins are coupled to their receptors through charged residues within the transmembrane regions of the adapter and receptor. DAP12 and FcRγ contain specific protein domains (referred to as immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs) that serve as the substrates and docking sites for kinases, allowing amplification of intracellular signaling reactions. Recent research has broadened the repertoire of receptors that utilize these adapters for signaling to include not only novel immunoglobulin superfamily members but also cytokine receptors, integrins, and other adhesion molecules. There is abundant evidence that these multifunctional signaling adapters also mediate inhibitory activity, downmodulating signaling from Toll-like receptors and other heterologous receptors. In this review, we discuss the newly described receptors that utilize DAP12 and/or FcRγ adapters to modulate innate immune responses.