Tec family kinases Itk and Rlk / Txk in T lymphocytes: cross-regulation of cytokine production and T-cell fates

FEBS J. 2011 Jun;278(12):1980-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08072.x. Epub 2011 Mar 29.


Developing thymocytes and T cells express the Tec kinases Itk, Rlk/Txk and Tec, which are critical modulators of T-cell receptor signaling, required for full activation of phospholipase Cγ, and downstream Ca(2+) and ERK-mediated signaling pathways. Over the last 10 years, data have implicated the Tec family kinases Itk and Rlk/Txk as important regulators of cytokine production by CD4(+) effector T-cell populations. Emerging data now suggest that the Tec family kinases not only influence cytokine-producing T-cell populations in the periphery, but also regulate the development of distinct innate-type cytokine-producing T-cell populations in the thymus. Together, these results suggest that the Tec family kinases play critical roles in helping shape immune responses via their effects on the differentiation and function of distinct cytokine-producing, effector T-cell populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / enzymology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / enzymology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / cytology
  • Th17 Cells / enzymology
  • Th17 Cells / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Tec protein-tyrosine kinase
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • emt protein-tyrosine kinase