IMR Press / FBL / Volume 17 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/3961

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review
FES/FER kinase signaling in hematopoietic cells and leukemias
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1 Department of Biochemistry, Queen’s University, Division of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Queen’s Cancer Research Institute, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 Canada
Academic Editor:Shigeru Kanda
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2012, 17(3), 861–875;
Published: 1 January 2012

FES and FES-related (FER) comprise a unique subfamily of protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs) that signal downstream of several classes of receptors involved in regulating hematopoietic cell development, survival, migration, and inflammatory mediator release. Activated alleles of FES are potent inducers of myeloid differentiation, however FES-deficient mice have only subtle differences in hematopoiesis. This may reflect overlapping function of other kinases such as FER. Studies of FES- and FER-deficient mice have revealed more prominent roles in regulating the activation of mature innate immune cells, including macrophages and mast cells. Recently, new insights into regulation of FES/FER kinases has emerged with the characterization of their N-terminal phospholipid-binding and membrane targeting FER/CIP4 homology-Bin/Amphyphysin/Rvs (F-BAR) and F-BAR extension (FX) domains. The F-BAR/FX domains regulate subcellular localization and FES/FER kinase activation. FES kinase activity is also enhanced upon ligand binding to its SH2 domain, which may lead to further phosphorylation of the same ligand, or other ligand-associated proteins. In mast cells, SH2 ligands of FES/FER include KIT receptor PTK, and the high affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) that trigger rapid activation of FES/FER and signaling to regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking. Recently, FES/FER have also been implicated in growth and survival signaling in leukemias driven by oncogenic KIT and FLT3 receptors. With further definition of their roles in immune cells and their progenitors, FES/FER may emerge as relevant therapeutic targets in inflammatory diseases and leukemias.

FES/FER Protein Tyrosine Kinases
Signal Transduction
Mast cells
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