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|LCK proto-oncogene, Src family tyrosine kinase|
The SH2 domain of human Lck colored from blue (N-terminus) to red (C-terminus).
|Symbols||; IMD22; LSK; YT16; p56lck; pp58lck|
|External IDs||ChEMBL: GeneCards:|
|RNA expression pattern|
Lck (or lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase) is a 56 kDa protein that is found inside specialized cells of the immune system called lymphocytes. Lck is a tyrosine kinase, which phosphorylates tyrosine residues of certain proteins involved in the intracellular signaling pathways of these lymphocytes. It is a member of the Src family of tyrosine kinases.
T cell signaling
Lck is most commonly found in T cells. It associates with the cytoplasmic tails of the CD4 and CD8 co-receptors on T helper cells and cytotoxic T cells, respectively, to assist signaling from the T cell receptor (TCR) complex. When the T cell receptor is engaged by the specific antigen presented by MHC, Lck acts to phosphorylate the intracellular chains of the CD3 and ζ-chains of the TCR complex, allowing another cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase called ZAP-70 to bind to them. Lck then phosphorylates and activates ZAP-70, which in turn phosphorylates another molecule in the signaling cascade called LAT (short for Linker of Activated T cells), a transmembrane protein that serves as a docking site for a number of other proteins, the most important of which are Shc-Grb2-SOS, PI3K, and phospholipase C (PLC).
The tyrosine phosphorylation cascade initiated by Lck culminates in the intracellular mobilization of calcium (Ca2+) ions and activation of important signaling cascades within the lymphocyte. These include the Ras-MEK-ERK pathway, which goes on to activate certain transcription factors such as NFAT, NF-κB, and AP-1. These transcription factors regulate the production of a plethora of gene products, most notable, cytokines such as Interleukin-2 that promote long-term proliferation and differentiation of the activated lymphocytes.
Lck is a 56-kilodalton protein. The N-terminal tail of Lck is myristoylated and palmitoylated, which tethers the protein to the plasma membrane of the cell. The protein furthermore contains a SH3 domain, a SH2 domain and in the C-terminal part the tyrosine kinase domain. The two main phosphorylation sites on Lck are tyrosines 394 and 505. The former is an autophosphorylation site and is linked to activation of the protein. The latter is phosphorylated by Csk, which inhibits Lck because the protein folds up and binds its own SH2 domain. Lck thus serves as an instructive example that protein phosphorylation may result in both activation and inhibition.
Lck tyrosine phosphorylates a number of proteins, the most important of which are the CD3 receptor, CEACAM1, ZAP-70, SLP-76, the IL-2 receptor, Protein kinase C, ITK, PLC, SHC, RasGAP, Cbl, Vav1, and PI3K.
In resting T cells, Lck is constitutively inhibited by Csk phosphorylation on tyrosine 505. Lck is also inhibited by SHP-1 dephosphorylation on tyrosine 394. Lck can also be inhibited by Cbl ubiquitin ligase, which is part of the ubiquitin-mediated pathway.
Lck has been shown to interact with:
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