Phorbol ester induces tyrosine phosphorylation in normal and abnormal human B lymphocytes

A. E. Nel, M. Navailles, D. F. Rosberger, G. E. Landreth, P. J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, G. J. Baldwin, R. M. Galbraith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Tumor-promoting phorbol esters have been found to bind and activate phospholipid/Ca2+-dependent or C-kinase, and several of their effects, including proliferative responses in lymphocytes, have been assumed to be related to activity of this enzyme. However, phorbol esters have also recently been found to stimulate tyrosine phosphorylation in certain other cell types, and we therefore studied tyrosine kinase activity in normal and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) peripheral blood B lymphocytes stimulated with phorbol ester. High levels of tyrosine labeling were observed in unstimulated cells with major endogenous substrates of 75K, 66K, 43K, and 28K in Triton-soluble material, and of 56K to 61K in Triton-insoluble material; this profile was essentially similar in normal and CLL B cells. Treatment with phorbol ester for time periods varying from 20 min to 48 hr led to qualitative increases in tyrosine labeling of these phosphoproteins, as measured both in vitro and in intact cells 'in vivo'. Although the relative abundance of tyrosine phosphorylation as a percentage of total labeling was variable due to concomitant enhancement of serine and threonine phosphorylation, exogenous peptide substrate assays confirmed the increased tyrosine kinase activity quantitatively. Enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation was succeeded or accompanied in both normal and abnormal B cells by cellular activation, as judged by increased [3H]thymidine uptake, and terminal differentiation of CLL cells. These findings provide further evidence implicating tyrosine kinases in B lymphocyte activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3448-3453
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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