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Blood. 2007 Sep 15;110(6):1840-7. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Direct interaction between Kit and the interleukin-7 receptor.

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  • 1Division of Research Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, CA, USA.


In vivo analyses of thymopoiesis in mice defective in signaling through Kit and gammac or Kit and IL-7Ralpha demonstrate synergy and partial complementation of gammac or IL-7-mediated signaling by the Kit signaling pathway. Our molecular analysis in T-lymphoid cells as well as in nonhematopoietic cells shows that Kit and IL-7R signaling pathways directly interact. KL-mediated activation of Kit induced strong tyrosine phosphorylation of gammac and IL-7Ralpha in the absence of IL-7. Activated Kit formed a complex with either IL-7Ralpha or gammac, and tyrosine phosphorylation of both subunits occurred independently of Jak3, suggesting that gammac and IL-7Ralpha are each direct substrates of Kit. Kit activated Jak3 in an IL-7R-dependent manner. Moreover, deficient Stat5 activation of the Kit mutant YY567/569FF lacking intrinsic Src activation capacity was partially reconstituted in the presence of IL-7R and Jak3. Based on the molecular data, we propose a model of Kit-mediated functional activation of gammac-containing receptors such as IL-7R, similar to the interaction between Kit and Epo-R. Such indirect activation of the Jak-Stat pathway induced by the interaction between an RTK and type I cytokine receptor could be the underlying mechanism for a context-specific signaling repertoire of a pleiotropic RTK-like Kit.

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