Tyro3, Axl, and Mertk Receptor Signaling in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colitis-associated Cancer


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Abstract

Three receptor tyrosine kinases, Tyro3, Axl, and Mertk (TAM) and their ligands Gas6 and Protein S, have emerged as potent negative regulators of innate immune responses. A number of studies using genetic ablation of TAM loci in mice have elucidated the mechanism of TAM engagement and function during the immune response and removal of apoptotic cells. Following phagocytosis of apoptotic cells or the induction of T-cell dependent adaptive immune responses, ligand-induced TAM signaling dampens proinflammatory cytokine production and thus prevents exaggerated or prolonged inflammation. It is believed that the TAM pathway may play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Suppression of inflammation and removal of apoptotic cells followed by tissue repair are essential processes for disease remission and the successful management of inflammatory bowel disease. In light of the key role of TAMs in controlling inflammatory responses, here, we review the recent advances on TAM research vis-à-vis the resolution of intestinal inflammation. Targeted activation of TAM receptor tyrosine kinases may represent a potent therapeutic opportunity in inflammatory bowel disease.

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