The Src Family Tyrosine Kinase Fyn Regulates Natural Killer T Cell Development

  • Gadue P
  • Morton N
  • Stein P
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T lymphocytes express two Src tyrosine kinases, Lck and Fyn. While thymocyte and T cell subsets are largely normal in fyn(-/-) mice, animals lacking Lck have impaired T cell development. Here, it is shown that Fyn is required for the rapid burst of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 synthesis, which occurs promptly after T cell receptor activation. The lack of cytokine induction in fyn mutant mice is due to a block in natural killer (NK) T cell development. Studies using bone marrow chimeras indicate that the defect behaves in a cell-autonomous manner, and the lack of NK T cells is probably not caused by inappropriate microenvironmental cues. Both NK T cells and conventional T cells express similar levels of Lck, implying that Fyn and Lck have distinct roles in regulating NK T cell ontogeny. The fyn mutation defines the first signaling molecule that is selectively required for NK T cell, but not for T lymphocyte or NK cell development.




Gadue, P., Morton, N., & Stein, P. L. (2002). The Src Family Tyrosine Kinase Fyn Regulates Natural Killer T Cell Development. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 190(8), 1189–1196.

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