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J Exp Med. 1998 Oct 5;188(7):1297-306.

Different protein tyrosine kinases are required for B cell antigen receptor-mediated activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


B cell antigen receptor (BCR) cross-linking activates three distinct families of nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs): src-family kinases, Syk, and Btk; these PTKs are responsible for initiating downstream events. BCR cross-linking in the chicken DT40 B cell line also activates three distinct mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs): extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)2, c-jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)1, and p38 MAPK. To dissect the functional roles of these PTKs in MAPK signaling, activation of MAPKs was examined in various PTK-deficient DT40 cells. BCR-mediated activation of ERK2, although maintained in Lyn-deficient cells, was abolished in Syk-deficient cells and partially inhibited in Btk-deficient cells, indicating that BCR-mediated ERK2 activation requires Syk and that sustained ERK2 activation requires Btk. BCR-mediated JNK1 activation was maintained in Lyn-deficient cells but abolished in both Syk- and Btk-deficient cells, suggesting that JNK1 is activated via a Syk- and Btk-dependent pathway. Consistent with this, BCR-mediated JNK1 activation was dependent on intracellular calcium and phorbol myristate acetate-sensitive protein kinase Cs. In contrast, BCR-mediated p38 MAPK activation was detected in all three PTK-deficient cells, suggesting that no single PTK is essential. However, BCR-mediated p38 MAPK activation was abolished in Lyn/Syk double deficient cells, demonstrating that either Lyn or Syk alone may be sufficient to activate p38 MAPK. Our data show that BCR-mediated MAPK activation is regulated at the level of the PTKs.

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