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J Biol Chem. 2009 Aug 21;284(34):22865-77. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.013169. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

B cell receptor-induced phosphorylation of Pyk2 and focal adhesion kinase involves integrins and the Rap GTPases and is required for B cell spreading.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Signaling by the B cell receptor (BCR) promotes integrin-mediated adhesion and cytoskeletal reorganization. This results in B cell spreading, which enhances the ability of B cells to bind antigens and become activated. Proline-rich tyrosine kinase (Pyk2) and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) are related cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases that regulate cell adhesion, cell morphology, and cell migration. In this report we show that BCR signaling and integrin signaling collaborate to induce the phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK on key tyrosine residues, a modification that increases the kinase activity of Pyk2 and FAK. Activation of the Rap GTPases is critical for BCR-induced integrin activation as well as for BCR- and integrin-induced reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. We now show that Rap activation is essential for BCR-induced phosphorylation of Pyk2 and for integrin-induced phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK. Moreover Rap-dependent phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK required an intact actin cytoskeleton as well as actin dynamics, suggesting that Rap regulates Pyk2 and FAK via its effects on the actin cytoskeleton. Importantly B cell spreading induced by BCR/integrin co-stimulation or by integrin engagement was inhibited by short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of either Pyk2 or FAK expression and by treatment with PF-431396, a chemical inhibitor that blocks the kinase activities of both Pyk2 and FAK. Thus Pyk2 and FAK are downstream targets of the Rap GTPases that play a key role in regulating B cell morphology.

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