, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 267-281

Focal adhesion kinase-related protein tyrosine kinase Pyk2 in T-cell activation and function

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Pyk2 is a protein tyrosine kinase expressed primarily in brain and hematopoietic cells. It becomes activated in response to stimulation through numerous receptors, including integrins, chemokine receptors, and antigen receptors, and is found in association with src-family kinases. Although this enzyme associates with many proteins known to be important for activation and has many characteristics of a scaffolding protein, its function remains elusive. A number of studies in non-T-cells suggest that Pyk2 is important for cell spreading, cell migration, and integrin function; however, a defined role in T-cells has not been established. Here, we discuss evidence that implicates Pyk2 in directionality of signaling, which is essential to establishment of the directional killing mediated by cytotoxic lymphocytes.