Engagement of immunoreceptors in hemopoietic cells leads to activation of Src family tyrosine kinases as well as Syk or ZAP-70. Current models propose that Src family kinases are critical in immune response signal transduction through their role in phosphorylation of tyrosine residues within immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motifs (ITAMs; which recruit the SH2 domains of Syk or ZAP-70) and by direct phosphorylation of Syk and ZAP-70. Several lines of evidence suggest that Syk may not show the same dependence on activation by Src family kinases as ZAP-70. In this report, we used COS cells transiently transfected with components of the Fc epsilon RI complex (Lyn, Syk, and a chimeric CD8 receptor containing the cytoplasmic domain of the gamma subunit of Fc epsilon RI (CD8-gamma)) to examine the regulation of Syk activity. Syk was activated and phosphorylated in COS cells cotransfected with Lyn; however, in cells expressing CD8-gamma, activation of Syk and phosphorylation of CD8-gamma did not require coexpression of Lyn. Additional experiments indicate that gamma phosphorylation is dependent on Syk kinase activity and is independent of endogenous COS cell kinases. In parallel experiments, ZAP-70 was not activated by cotransfection with CD8-gamma, nor was CD8-gamma phosphorylated when coexpressed with ZAP-70 alone. Taken together, these studies indicate that Syk can be distinguished from ZAP-70 in its ability to be activated by coexpression with an ITAM-containing receptor without coexpression of a Src family kinase, and that Syk is capable of phosphorylating ITAM tyrosines under certain experimental conditions.
- Copyright © 1997 by American Association of Immunologists