BAL17 B lymphoma cells, representing mature B lymphocytes, were used to analyze the role of tyrosine kinase in B cell activation. Anti-IgM-induced tyrosine phosphorylation was inhibited by preincubation of cells with tyrosine kinase inhibitor herbimycin A. Enzymatic activity of lyn protein was also inhibited by this drug, accompanied by down-regulation of p53lyn and p56lyn. However, a protein kinase C-mediated event was intact in the herbimycin A-pretreated cells, suggesting that the inhibitor acts selectively on tyrosine kinase. Anti-IgM failed to stimulate herbimycin A-pretreated cells to induce increases in inositol phospholipid metabolism or increased [Ca2+]i, whereas aluminum fluoride-induced metabolism was not altered. Moreover, membrane IgM density as revealed by flow cytometry was not changed by herbimycin A. These results indicate that tyrosine kinase(s) participates in the coupling of an Ag receptor cross-linkage to phospholipase C activation through a phosphorylation event in B lymphoma cells.

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