Leukocytes express a novel gene encoding a putative transmembrane protein-kinase devoid of an extracellular domain

Yinon Ben-Neriah*, Asne R. Bauskin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Tyrosine-specific phosphorylation of proteins is a key to the control of diverse pathways leading to cell growth and differentiation1. The protein-tyrosine kinases described to date are either transmembrane proteins having an extracellular ligand binding domain2-7 or cytoplasmic proteins related to the v-src oncogene8-10. Most of these proteins are expressed in a wide variety of cells and tissues; few are tissue-specific1. Previous studies have suggested that lymphokines could mediate haematopoietic cell survival through their action on glucose transport11,12, regulated in some cells through the protein-tyrosine kinase activity of the insulin receptor13. We have investigated the possibility that insulin receptor-like genes are expressed specifically in haematopoietic cells. Using the insulin receptor-related avian sarcoma oncogene v-ros as a probe14, we have isolated and characterized the complementary DNA of a novel gene, ltk (leukocyte tyrosine kinase). The ltk gene is expressed mainly in leukocytes, is related to several tyrosine kinase receptor genes of the insulin receptor family and has unique structural properties: it apparently encodes a transmembrane protein devoid of an extracellular domain. Two candidate ltk proteins have been identified with antibodies in the mouse thymus, and have properties indicating that they are integral membrane proteins. These features suggest that ltk could be a signal transduction subunit for one or several of the haematopoietic receptors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)672-676
Number of pages5
Issue number6174
StatePublished - 1988


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