Bruton's tyrosine kinase (or BTK) is a type of kinase protein expressed in B lymphocytes and T cells. BTK contains a PH domain which binds phosphatidylinositol(3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3). After binding to PIP3, BTK is induced to phosphorylate phospholipase C, which in turn hydrolyzes PIP2 into two second messagers, IP3 and DAG, which then modulate the activity of downstream proteins during B-cell signaling. Btk is also found implicated in the primary immunodeficiency disease X-linked agammaglobulinemia(Bruton's agammaglobulinemia). BTK played a key role in B-cell maturation as well as mast cell activation through the high-affinity IgE receptor. Patients with X-linked agammaglobulinemia have normal pre-B cell populations in their bone marrow but these B-cells can not mature and enter the circulation.
Hashimoto S, et al. (1996) Identification of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) gene mutations and characterization of the derived proteins in 35 X-linked agammaglobulinemia families: a nationwide study of Btk deficiency in Japan. Blood. 88(2): 561-73.
Ohta Y, et al. (1994) Genomic organization and structure of Bruton agammaglobulinemia tyrosine kinase: localization of mutations associated with varied clinical presentations and course in X chromosome-linked agammaglobulinemia. PNAS. 91(19): 9062-6.
Smith C, et al. (1994) Expression of Bruton's agammaglobulinemia tyrosine kinase gene, BTK, is selectively down-regulated in T lymphocytes and plasma cells. The Journal of Immunology. 152(2): 557-65.
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