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Oncogene. 1997 May 1;14(17):2033-9.

Identification of Gas6 as a ligand for Mer, a neural cell adhesion molecule related receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in cellular transformation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech Inc, South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Mer/Nyk/Eyk is an orphan receptor tyrosine kinase expressed at high levels in monocytes and cells derived from epithelial and reproductive tissues. Overexpression of Mer has been associated with lymphoid malignancies. Here we identify Gas6, the product of a growth arrest specific gene, as a ligand for Mer. Gas6 has previously been shown to activate both Axl and Rse/Tyro3, two other receptor tyrosine kinases in the same family as Mer. The apparent relative association and dissociation rate constants of Gas6 for soluble Axl, Rse/Tyro3 and Mer were compared using surface plasmon resonance. Gas6 was shown to induce rapid phosphorylation of Mer expressed in several different types of cells. We also observed a transient activation of p42 MAP kinase following activation of Mer by Gas6. Thus, Gas6 exerts its biological effects through multiple receptor tyrosine kinases.

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