Lyn is the only member of the Src family expressed in DT40 B cells, which provide a unique model to study the singular contribution of this protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) family to cell signaling. In these cells, gene ablation of Lyn leads to defective B cell receptor signaling. Complementary DNA array analysis of Lyn-deficient DT40 cells shows that the absence of Lyn leads to down-regulation of numerous genes encoding proteins involved in B cell receptor signaling, proliferation, control of transcription, immunity/inflammation response, and cytoskeletal organization. Most of these expression changes have not been previously associated with Lyn PTK signaling. They include alterations in mRNA levels of germinal center-associated nuclear protein (germinal center-associated DNA primase) (GANP), CD74, CD22, NF-κB, elongation factor 1α, CD79b, octamer binding factor 1, Ig H chain, stathmin, and γ-actin. Changes in GANP expression were also confirmed in Lyn-deficient mice, suggesting that Lyn PTK has a unique function not compensated for by other Src kinases. Because Lyn-deficient mice have impaired development of germinal centers in spleen, the decreased expression of GANP in the Lyn-deficient DT40 cell line and Lyn-deficient mice suggests that Lyn controls the formation and proliferation of germinal centers via GANP. GANP promoter activity was higher in wild-type vs Lyn-deficient cells. Mutation of the PU.1 binding site reduced activity in wild-type cells and had no effect in Lyn-deficient cells. The presence of Lyn enhanced PU.1 expression in a Northern blot. Thus, the following new signaling pathway has been described: Lyn→PU.1→GANP.
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