Lsk is a protein tyrosine kinase with homology to the COOH-terminal Src kinase (Csk). Unlike Csk that is ubiquitously expressed, Lsk has limited tissue distribution. Here we have examined the expression and regulation of Lsk and Csk in peripheral human monocytes. We have found that Lsk mRNA and protein were not expressed in resting monocytes but were induced by treatment with interleukin 4 (IL-4) or IL-13 but not by interferon γ (IFN-γ) or IL- 2. In fact, IFN-γ, but not IL-2, efficiently blocked Lsk induction by IL-4 or IL-13. In contrast, Csk was constitutively present in human monocytes and was upregulated by IFN-γ but not by IL-4 or IL-13. These results suggest that despite their structural similarities, Lsk and Csk may play distinct regulatory roles in monocyte functions elicited by cytokines, with Lsk functioning specifically within the context of a Th2-type immune response.
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