Cross-linking of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR)-CD3 complex induces rapid tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of Src (Lck and Fyn) and Syk (Syk and Zap-70) family protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) which, in turn, phosphorylate multiple intracellular substrates. Cbl is a prominent PTK substrate suggesting a pivotal role for it in early signal transduction events. However, the regulation of Cbl function and tyrosine phosphorylation in T cells by upstream PTKs remains poorly understood. In the present study, we used genetic and biochemical approaches to demonstrate that Cbl directly interacts with Syk and Fyn via its N-terminal and C-terminal regions, respectively. Tyr-316 of Syk was required for the interaction with Cbl as well as for the maximal tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl. However, both wild-type Syk and Y316F-mutated Syk phosphorylated equally well the C-terminal fragment of Cbl in vivo, suggesting the existence of an alternative, N terminus-independent mechanism for the Syk-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl. This mechanism appears to involve Fyn, since, in addition to its association with the C-terminal region of Cbl, Fyn also associated with Syk and enhanced the Syk-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl. These findings implicate Fyn as an adaptor protein that facilitates the interaction between Syk and Cbl, and suggest that Src and Syk family PTKs coordinately regulate the tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl.
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