Activation of phospholipase C in human B cells is dependent on tyrosine phosphorylation

Shai Padeh, Alexander Levitzki, Aviv Gazit, Gordon B. Mills, Chaim M. Roifman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Cross-linking of the surface antigen receptor on B lymphocytes has been demonstrated to lead to activation of phospholipase C (PLC) with subsequent increases in production of inositol phosphates and diacylglycerol. In turn, these second messengers increase cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) and activate the serine threonine phosphotransferase protein kinase C (PKC). These processes are thought to play a major role in B cell activation and proliferation. However, the mechanism linking the B lymphocyte antigen receptor to phospholipase C remains to be identified. We demonstrate herein that activation of the antigen receptor on human lymphocytes, in addition to activation of PLC, increases tyrosine phosphorylation of specific substrates. Tyrphostins, a new class of tyrosine kinase inhibitors which compete for substrate binding site of specific tyrosine kinases have recently been synthesized. Preincubation of B lymphocytes with two different tyrphostins blocked anti-IgM-induced proliferation, oncogene expression, tyrosine phosphorylation, increases in [Ca2+]i, and production of inositol phosphates. The same inhibitors were without effect on B cell proliferation induced by phorbol esters and cation ionophores which directly activate PKC and increase [Ca2+]i thus bypassing PLC. These findings strongly indicate that tyrphostins do not exhibit significant nonspecific toxicity and suggest that they act proximal to PLC. The ability of the tyrphostins to block increases in [Ca2+]i and inositol phosphate production, after activation of the B cell antigen receptor, indicates that a tyrosine kinase acts as an essential link between the B cell antigen receptor and PLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1118
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA)
  • Inositol-trisphosphate (ip)
  • Phospholipase C (PLC)
  • Protein kinase C (PKC)
  • Protein tyrosine kinase (PTK)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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