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Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Mar;6(3):218-30.

Integrated signalling pathways for mast-cell activation.

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Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 11C206, 10 Center Drive, MSC 1881, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1881, USA.


Mast-cell activation mediated by the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI) is considered to be a key event in the allergic inflammatory response. However, in a physiological setting, other receptors, such as KIT, might also markedly influence the release of mediators by mast cells. Recent studies have provided evidence that FcepsilonRI-dependent degranulation is regulated by two complementary signalling pathways, one of which activates phospholipase Cgamma and the other of which activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, using specific transmembrane and cytosolic adaptor molecules. In this Review, we discuss the evidence for these interacting pathways and describe how the capacity of KIT, and other receptors, to influence FcepsilonRI-dependent mast-cell-mediator release might be a function of the relative abilities of these receptors to activate these alternative pathways.

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