Signal Transduction by Proline-Rich Tyrosine Kinase Pyk2
Sammanfattning: The proline-rich tyrosine kinase (Pyk2) together with focal adhesion kinase (FAK) define a family of non-receptor protein tyrosine kinases that are regulated by diverse stimuli. Activation of Pyk2 has been implicated in multiple signaling events, including modulation of ion channels, activation of MAP kinase cascades and apoptotic cell death. This thesis investigates the role of Pyk2 in the regulation of mitogenic signals and cell cytoskeleton.We identified a hematopoietic isoform of Pyk2 (designated Pyk2-H)that is generated by alternative RNA splicing and is mainly expressed in thymocytes, B cells and natural killer cells. In addition, we demonstrated that engagement of antigen receptors in lymphocytes leads to rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of Pyk2-H suggesting a potential role in host immune responses. These findings were corroborated by defects in B cell-mediated immune responses of Pyk2-/- mice. Several reports have previously indicated that Pyk2 acts as an upstream regulator of ERK and JNK MAP kinase cascades in response to numerous extracellular signals. Which MAP kinase pathway is activated by Pyk2 depends on arrays of effector proteins associated with Pyk2. We proposed a model where the formation of Pyk2-Src complexes results in phosphorylation of Shc, p130Cas and Pyk2. This creates binding sites for the SH2 domains of adaptor proteins Grb2 and Crk, which in turn recruit exchange factors for Ras and Rho GTPases that specifically activate ERK or JNK.Integration of signaling pathways initiated by receptor tyrosine kinases and integrins is essential for growth factor-mediated biological responses. We described neuronal cellular models where activation of both growth factor receptors and integrins is required for neurite outgrowth. In these cells, Pyk2 and FAK associate with integrin-linked complexes containing EGF receptors via their C- and N-terminal domains. Inhibition of Pyk2/FAK functions was sufficient to block neurite outgrowth and effectors of the C-terminal domain of Pyk2/FAK, including paxillin, were shown to regulate neurite outgrowth independently of ERK/MAP kinase in these cells. We thus proposed that Pyk2 and FAK play important roles in signal integration proximal to the integrin-growth factor receptor complexes.
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