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Nature. 1997 Sep 18;389(6648):296-9.

Direct stimulation of Bruton's tyrosine kinase by G(q)-protein alpha-subunit.

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Department of Physiology, Cornell University Medical College, New York 10021, USA.


Heterotrimeric guanine-nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins (G proteins) transduce signals from a wide variety of cell-surface receptors to generate physiological responses. Protein-tyrosine kinases are another group of critical cellular signal transducers and their malfunction often leads to cancer. Although activation of G-protein-coupled receptors can elicit rapid stimulation of cellular protein-tyrosine phosphorylation, the mechanism used by G proteins to activate protein-tyrosine kinases is unclear. Here we show that the purified alpha-subunit of the G(q) class of G proteins (G[alpha]q) directly stimulates the activity of a purified non-receptor kinase, Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk), whereas purified alpha-subunits from G(il), G(O) or G(z) proteins do not. G(alpha)q can also activate Btk in vivo. Furthermore, in Btk-deficient cells, stimulation of another kinase, a p38 MAP kinase, by Gq-coupled receptors is blocked. Our results demonstrate that certain protein-tyrosine kinases can be direct effectors of G proteins.

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