The M-CSFR (c-Fms) participates in proliferation, differentiation, and survival of macrophages and is involved in the regulation of distinct macrophage functions. Interaction with the ligand M-CSF results in phosphorylation of tyrosine residues on c-Fms, thereby creating binding sites for molecules containing SH2 domains. Lnk is a SH2 domain adaptor protein that negatively regulates hematopoietic cytokine receptors. Here, we show that Lnk binds to c-Fms. Biological and functional effects of this interaction were examined in macrophages from Lnk-deficient (KO) and WT mice. Clonogenic assays demonstrated an elevated number of M-CFUs in the bone marrow of Lnk KO mice. Furthermore, the M-CSF-induced phosphorylation of Akt in Lnk KO macrophages was increased and prolonged, whereas phosphorylation of Erk was diminished. Zymosan-stimulated production of ROS was increased dramatically in a M-CSF-dependent manner in Lnk KO macrophages. Lastly, Lnk inhibited M-CSF-induced migration of macrophages. In summary, we show that Lnk binds to c-Fms and can blunt M-CSF stimulation. Modulation of levels of Lnk in macrophages may provide a unique therapeutic approach to increase innate host defenses.
- Receptor tyrosine kinase