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Immunology. 1999 Jul;97(3):414-9.

Syk and paxillin are differentially phosphorylated following adhesion to the plastic substrate in rat alveolar macrophages.

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  • 1Regional Environment Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Adhesion is associated with tyrosine phosphorylation in many types of cells. Although macrophages are known to adhere and phagocytose foreign particles, the signal transduction pathway of macrophages in response to adhesion to the foreign substrate has not been fully investigated. In the present study we investigated tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins and phosphorylation of paxillin in alveolar macrophages (AMs) following adhesion to a plastic substrate. Adhesion to a plastic dish resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation of a 68 000 MW protein, which was shown, by immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting in the present study, to be a rat Syk kinase. Treatment with erbstatin reduced both tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk and adherence of AMs, while treatment with cytochalasin B inhibited spreading of AMs but did not inhibit tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk. These results suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk plays an important role in adhesion of AMs to the plastic substrate, but not in AM spreading. Paxillin is known to be tyrosine phosphorylated following adhesion to the extracellular matrix in many types of cells. However, paxillin appeared to be serine/threonine phosphorylated rather than tyrosine phosphorylated following adhesion of AMs to the plastic substrate. Treatment with A23187 (a calcium ionophore), but not phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA; a protein kinase C stimulator), induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk in non-adherent AMs. Treatment with either A23187 or PMA caused electromobility changes of paxillin that were mainly a result of serine/threonine phosphorylation. These results suggest that adhesion to the plastic substrate leads to two differently regulated events in AMs: tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk and serine/threonine phosphorylation of paxillin, both of which are probably mediated by an increase in intracellular calcium.

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