Src-dependent Syk activation controls CD69-mediated signaling and function on human NK cells

Simona Pisegna, Alessandra Zingoni, Gianluca Pirozzi, Benedetta Cinque, Maria Grazia Cifone, Stefania Morrone, Mario Piccoli, Luigi Frati, Gabriella Palmieri, Angela Santoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CD69 C-type lectin receptor represents a functional triggering molecule on activated NK cells, capable of directing their natural killing function. The receptor-proximal signaling pathways activated by CD69 cross-linking and involved in CD69-mediated cytotoxic activity are still poorly understood. Here we show that CD69 engagement leads to the rapid and selective activation of the tyrosine kinase Syk, but not of the closely related member of the same family, ZAP70, in IL-2-activated human NK cells. Our results indicate the requirement for Src family kinases in the CD69-triggered activation of Syk and suggest a role for Lck in this event. We also demonstrate that Syk and Src family tyrosine kinases control the CD69-triggered tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of phospholipase Cγ2 and the Rho family-specific exchange factor Vav1 and are responsible for CD69-triggered cytotoxicity of activated NK cells. The same CD69-activated signaling pathways are also observed in an RBL transfectant clone, constitutively expressing the receptor. These data demonstrate for the first time that the CD69 receptor functionally couples to the activation of Src family tyrosine kinases, which, by inducing Syk activation, initiate downstream signaling pathways and regulate CD69-triggered functions on human NK cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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