The protein Lck (p56lck) has a relative molecular mass of 56,000 and belongs to the Src family of tyrosine kinases. It is expressed exclusively in lymphoid cells, predominantly in thymocytes and peripheral T cells. Lck associates specifically with the cytoplasmic domains of both CD4 and CD8 T-cell surface glycoproteins and interacts with the beta-chain of the interleukin-2 receptor, which implicates Lck activity in signal transduction during thymocyte ontogeny and activation of mature T cells. Here we generate an lck null mutation by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells to evaluate the role of p56lck in T-cell development and activation. Lck-deficient mice show a pronounced thymic atrophy, with a dramatic reduction in the double-positive (CD4+CD8+) thymocyte population. Mature, single-positive thymocytes are not detectable in these mice and there are only very few peripheral T cells. These results illustrate the crucial role of this T-cell-specific tyrosine kinase in the thymocyte development.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.