TAM receptors and the clearance of apoptotic cells

Greg Lemke*, Tal Burstyn-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


The Tyro3, Axl, and Mer (TAM) receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands Gas6 and Protein S are required for the optimal phagocytosis of apoptotic cells in the mature immune, nervous, and reproductive systems. Genetic analyses in mice, rats, and humans reveal that this receptor-ligand system plays an especially important role in the phagocytosis that is triggered by the "eat-me" signal phosphatidylserine. Deficiencies in TAM signaling lead to human retinal dystrophies and may contribute to lupus and other human autoimmune diseases. The TAM system appears to interact and cooperate with several other phagocytic networks, including scavenger receptor and integrin-based systems, and may serve as a signaling hub that integrates these systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Gas6
  • Protein S
  • TAM receptors
  • Tyrosine kinase


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