The adaptor Lnk (SH2B3): an emerging regulator in vascular cells and a link between immune and inflammatory signaling

Biochem Pharmacol. 2011 Nov 15;82(10):1391-402. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.06.023. Epub 2011 Jun 24.


A better knowledge of the process by which inflammatory extracellular signals are relayed from the plasma membrane to specific intracellular sites is a key step to understand how inflammation develops and how it is regulated. This review focuses on Lnk (SH2B3) a member, with SH2B1 and SH2B2, of the SH2B family of adaptor proteins that influences a variety of signaling pathways mediated by Janus kinase and receptor tyrosine kinases. SH2B adaptor proteins contain conserved dimerization, pleckstrin homology, and SH2 domains. Initially described as a regulator of hematopoiesis and lymphocyte differentiation, Lnk now emerges as a key regulator in hematopoeitic and non hematopoeitic cells such as endothelial cells (EC) moderating growth factor and cytokine receptor-mediated signaling. In EC, Lnk is a negative regulator of TNF signaling that reduce proinflammatory phenotype and prevent EC from apoptosis. Lnk is a modulator in integrin signaling and actin cytoskeleton organization in both platelets and EC with an impact on cell adhesion, migration and thrombosis. In this review, we discuss some recent insights proposing Lnk as a key regulator of bone marrow-endothelial progenitor cell kinetics, including the ability to cell growth, endothelial commitment, mobilization, and recruitment for vascular regeneration. Finally, novel findings also provided evidences that mutations in Lnk gene are strongly linked to myeloproliferative disorders but also autoimmune and inflammatory syndromes where both immune and vascular cells display a role. Overall, these studies emphasize the importance of the Lnk adaptor molecule not only as prognostic marker but also as potential therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / physiology*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / genetics
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins
  • SH2B3 protein, human