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J Cell Sci. 2010 Aug 1;123(Pt 15):2576-85. doi: 10.1242/jcs.071043. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Btk-dependent Rac activation and actin rearrangement following FcepsilonRI aggregation promotes enhanced chemotactic responses of mast cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive MSC 1881, Bethesda, MD 20892-1881, USA.


Mast cells infiltrate the sites of inflammation associated with chronic atopic disease and during helminth and bacterial infection. This process requires receptor-mediated cell chemotaxis across a concentration gradient of their chemotactic ligands. In vivo, mast cells are likely to be exposed to several such agents, which can cooperate in a synergistic manner to regulate mast cell homing. Here, we report that chemotaxis of mouse bone-marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) in response to the chemoattractants stem-cell factor (SCF) and prostaglandin (PG)E(2), is substantially enhanced following antigen-dependent ligation of the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcεRI). These responses were associated with enhanced activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and downstream activation of the tyrosine protein kinase Btk, with subsequent enhanced phospholipase (PL)Cγ-mediated Ca(2+) mobilization, Rac activation and F-actin rearrangement. Antigen-induced chemotaxis, and the ability of antigen to amplify responses mediated by SCF, adenosine and PGE(2) were suppressed following inhibition of PI3K, and were impaired in BMMCs derived from Btk(-/-) mice. There were corresponding decreases in the PLCγ-mediated Ca(2+) signal, Rac activation and F-actin rearrangement, which, as they are essential for BMMC chemotaxis, accounts for the impaired migration of Btk-deficient cells. Taken together, these data demonstrate that, by regulating signaling pathways that control F-actin rearrangement, Btk is crucial for the ability of antigen to amplify mast-cell chemotactic responses.

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