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Immunity. 1996 Nov;5(5):429-36.

alpha beta T cell development is abolished in mice lacking both Lck and Fyn protein tyrosine kinases.

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Department of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


Two families of protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs), the Src and Syk/ZAP-70 families, are required for T cell development. Lck is the major Src family member required for thymopoiesis, since there is a severe deficit of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes and mature T cells in its absence. However, some peripheral T cells are evident in these mice, suggesting that additional PTKs may contribute to T cell development. Here we show that the combined disruption of Lck and Fyn (lck(-/-)fyn(-/-)) completely arrests alpha beta T cell development at the CD4-CD8- stage. The development of V gamma 3+ dendritic epidermal T cells is also severely impaired, but natural killer cell development and cytolytic activity is unaffected in lck(-/-)fyn(-/-) mice. These findings reveal the potential for redundant functions mediated by Src family PTKs while emphasizing crucial roles for Lck and Fyn in T cell development.

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