Human proto-oncogene c-kit: a new cell surface receptor tyrosine kinase for an unidentified ligand

EMBO J. 1987 Nov;6(11):3341-51. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1987.tb02655.x.


Structural features of v-kit, the oncogene of HZ4 feline sarcoma virus, suggested that this gene arose by transduction and truncation of cellular sequences. Complementary DNA cloning of the human proto-oncogene coding for a receptor tyrosine kinase confirmed this possibility: c-kit encodes a transmembrane glycoprotein that is structurally related to the receptor for macrophage growth factor (CSF-1) and the receptor for platelet-derived growth factor. The c-kit gene is widely expressed as a single, 5-kb transcript, and it is localized to human chromosome 4 and to mouse chromosome 5. A c-kit peptide antibody permitted the identification of a 145,000 dalton c-kit gene product that is inserted in the cellular plasma membrane and is capable of self-phosphorylation on tyrosine residues in both human glioblastoma cells and transfected mouse fibroblasts. Our results suggest that p145c-kit functions as a cell surface receptor for an as yet unidentified ligand. Furthermore, carboxy- and amino-terminal truncations that occurred during the viral transduction process are likely to have generated the transformation potential of v-kit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / analysis
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Glioma
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
  • Proto-Oncogenes*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor


  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • DNA
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X06182