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EMBO J. 2001 Oct 15;20(20):5692-702.

PKCbeta modulates antigen receptor signaling via regulation of Btk membrane localization.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1752, USA.


Mutations in Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) result in X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) in humans and X-linked immunodeficiency (xid) in mice. While targeted disruption of the protein kinase C-beta (PKCbeta) gene in mice results in an immunodeficiency similar to xid, the overall tyrosine phosphorylation of Btk is significantly enhanced in PKCbeta-deficient B cells. We provide direct evidence that PKCbeta acts as a feedback loop inhibitor of Btk activation. Inhibition of PKCbeta results in a dramatic increase in B-cell receptor (BCR)-mediated Ca2+ signaling. We identified a highly conserved PKCbeta serine phosphorylation site in a short linker within the Tec homology domain of Btk. Mutation of this phosphorylation site led to enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation and membrane association of Btk, and augmented BCR and FcepsilonRI-mediated signaling in B and mast cells, respectively. These findings provide a novel mechanism whereby reversible translocation of Btk/Tec kinases regulates the threshold for immunoreceptor signaling and thereby modulates lymphocyte activation.

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