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Curr Biol. 2004 May 25;14(10):917-22.

Requirement for Tec kinases in chemokine-induced migration and activation of Cdc42 and Rac.

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National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Cell polarization and migration in response to chemokines is essential for proper development of the immune system and activation of immune responses. Recent studies of chemokine signaling have revealed a critical role for PI3-Kinase, which is required for polarized membrane association of pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing proteins and activation of Rho family GTPases that are essential for cell polarization and actin reorganization. Additional data argue that tyrosine kinases are also important for chemokine-induced Rac activation. However, how and which kinases participate in these pathways remain unclear. We demonstrate here that the Tec kinases Itk and Rlk play an important role in chemokine signaling in T lymphocytes. Chemokine stimulation induced transient membrane association of Itk and phosphorylation of both Itk and Rlk, and purified T cells from Rlk(-/-)Itk(-/-) mice exhibited defective migration to multiple chemokines in vitro and decreased homing to lymph nodes upon transfer to wt mice. Expression of a dominant-negative Itk impaired SDF-1alpha-induced migration, cell polarization, and activation of Rac and Cdc42. Thus, Tec kinases are critical components of signaling pathways required for actin polarization downstream from both antigen and chemokine receptors in T cells.

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