Immunobiology of the TAM receptors

Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 May;8(5):327-36. doi: 10.1038/nri2303.


Recent studies have revealed that the TAM receptor protein tyrosine kinases--TYRO3, AXL and MER--have pivotal roles in innate immunity. They inhibit inflammation in dendritic cells and macrophages, promote the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and membranous organelles, and stimulate the maturation of natural killer cells. Each of these phenomena may depend on a cooperative interaction between TAM receptor and cytokine receptor signalling systems. Although its importance was previously unrecognized, TAM signalling promises to have an increasingly prominent role in studies of innate immune regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axl Receptor Tyrosine Kinase
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / cytology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Oncogene Proteins / immunology*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / immunology*
  • Receptors, Cytokine / immunology
  • Receptors, Cytokine / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • c-Mer Tyrosine Kinase


  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • MERTK protein, human
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • TYRO3 protein, human
  • c-Mer Tyrosine Kinase
  • Axl Receptor Tyrosine Kinase
  • AXL protein, human