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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jan 15;90(2):669-73.

Developmental regulation of a murine T-cell-specific tyrosine kinase gene, Tsk.

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Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Protein-tyrosine kinases have been implicated in signal transduction in T lymphocytes after stimulation of many cell-surface molecules, including the T-cell antigen receptor, CD4, CD8, CD2, CD5, and CD28. Yet the identities of many of these tyrosine kinases remain unknown. We have isolated a murine tyrosine kinase gene, called Tsk for T-cell-specific kinase, that appears to be exclusively expressed in T lymphocytes. The Tsk cDNA clone encodes a polypeptide of 70 kDa, which is similar in sequence to both the src and abl families of tyrosine kinases. Sequence comparisons also indicate that Tsk contains one src-homology region 2 domain and one src-homology 3 domain but lacks the negative regulatory tyrosine (src Tyr-527) common to src-family kinases. In addition, Tsk expression is developmentally regulated. Steady-state Tsk mRNA levels are 5- to 10-fold higher in thymocytes than in peripheral T cells and increase in the thymus during mouse development from neonate to adult. Furthermore, Tsk is expressed in day 14 fetal thymus, suggesting a role for Tsk in early T-lymphocyte differentiation.

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