Although transcriptional activation of the c-fos proto-oncogene plays an intrinsic role in the mechanism of blood cell growth, it is still obscure how protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs) regulate the cytokine-driven c-fos activation pathway. We present here that Tec PTK is tyrosine-phosphorylated and activated by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) stimulation in a human GM-CSF-dependent cell line. Moreover, we could show that introduction of Tec into mouse BA/F3-hGMRalphabeta cells can profoundly activate the c-fos promoter in response to GM-CSF or to interleukin-3 (IL-3). In contrast, introduction of a kinase-deleted Tec could suppress cytokine-driven c-fos activation, indicating that Tec is directly involved in the regulation of c-fos transcription. Interestingly, strong activation by Tec of the c-fos promoter was blocked by the co-expression of dominant negative Jak2. The molecular interaction between Tec and Jak2 was then investigated both in mammalian and insect cell systems, revealing that they can not only bind to each other, but either of the two can phosphorylate the other. Thus, Tec and Jak2 can "cross-talk" in a complexed way to mediate cytokine-driven c-fos activation.
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