Skip to main content


Log in

Signal transduction via the stem cell factor receptor/c-Kit

  • Review
  • Published:
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Together with its ligand, stem cell factor, the receptor tyrosine kinase c-Kit is a key controlling receptor for a number of cell types, including hematopoietic stem cells, mast cells, melanocytes and germ cells. Gain-of-function mutations in c-Kit have been described in a number of human cancers, including testicular germinomas, acute myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Stimulation of c-Kit by its ligand leads to dimerization of receptors, activation of its intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity and phosphorylation of key tyrosine residues within the receptor. These phosphorylated tyrosine residues serve as docking sites for a number of signal transduction molecules containing Src homology 2 domains, which will thereby be recruited to the receptor and activated many times through phosphorylation by the receptor. This review discusses our current knowledge of signal transduction molecules and signal transduction pathways activated by c-Kit and how their activation can be connected to the physiological outcome of c-Kit signaling.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to L. Rönnstrand.

Additional information

Received 30 April 2004; received after revision 3 June 2004; accepted 22 June 2004

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rönnstrand, L. Signal transduction via the stem cell factor receptor/c-Kit. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 61, 2535–2548 (2004).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words.