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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v29.i4.30
pages 317-333

The Role of Tec Family Kinases in Mononuclear Phagocytes

Afitap Derya Koprulu
Division of Immunobiology, Institute of Immunology, Center for Physiology, Pathophysiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Wilfried Ellmeier
Division of Immunobiology, Institute of Immunology, Center for Physiology, Pathophysiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria


Mononuclear phagocytes, including monocytcs, macrophages, and dendritic cells, play an important role in innate and adaptive immune responses and are important regulators of the inflammatory response. Among these, monocytes/macrophages are involved in virtually all aspects of inflammation, ranging from the detection and phagocytosis of pathogens up to the resolution of inflammation and repair of tissue damage. The stimulation of cell surface receptors, such as Toll-like receptors, leads to the initiation of intracellular signal transduction pathways regulating macrophagc activation and effector functions. One group of signaling molecules stimulated on macrophage activation is formed by the Tec kinasc family, which consists of five members (Bmx, Btk, Itk, Rlk, and Tec) and constitutes the second-largest family of nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases in the immune system. Some Tec kinases have been shown to be major regulators of antigen receptor signaling in lymphocytes, and deficiencies in Tec family kinases cause several immunological defects in humans and mice. Much less is known about the role of Tec family kinases in the myeloid branch of the hematopoietic system. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge about the role of Tec family kinases in monocytes/macrophages, in dendritic cells, and in osteoclasts.

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