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Keywords:

  • cytokine production;
  • degranulation;
  • early-phase and late-phase effector functions;
  • Itk;
  • mast cell signaling;
  • Tec;
  • TLR activation;
  • type I hypersensitivity reactions;
  • tyrosine kinases

Mast cells express the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcεRI) and are key players in type I hypersensitivity reactions. They are critically involved in the development of allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and systemic anaphylaxis, however, they also regulate normal physiological processes that link innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, their activation has to be tightly controlled. One group of signaling molecules that are activated upon FcεRI stimulation is formed by Tec family kinases, and three members of this kinase family (Btk, Itk and Tec) are expressed in mast cells. Many studies have revealed important functions of Tec kinases in signaling pathways downstream of the antigen receptors in lymphocytes. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the function of Tec family kinases in FcεRI-mediated signaling pathways in mast cell.