PMID: 7823930Feb 1, 1995

The receptor tyrosine kinase ARK mediates cell aggregation by homophilic binding

Molecular and Cellular Biology
Paola BellostaClaudio Basilico


The ARK (AXL, UFO) receptor is a member of a new family of receptor tyrosine kinases whose extracellular domain contains a combination of fibronectin type III and immunoglobulin motifs similar to those found in many cell adhesion molecules. ARK mRNA is expressed at high levels in the mouse brain, prevalently in the hippocampus and cerebellum, and this pattern of expression resembles that of adhesion molecules that are capable of promoting cell aggregation through homophilic or heterophilic binding. We report here the ability of the murine ARK receptor to mediate homophilic binding. Expression of the ARK protein in Drosophila S2 cells induces formation of cell aggregates consisting of ARK-expressing cells, and aggregation leads to receptor activation, with an increase in receptor phosphorylation. Homophilic binding does not require ARK tyrosine kinase activity, since S2 cells expressing a receptor in which the intracellular domain was deleted were able to undergo aggregation as well as cells expressing the wild-type ARK receptor. Similar results were obtained with NIH 3T3 and CHO cells expressing high levels of ARK, although in this case ARK expression appeared to be accompanied by constitutive activation. The purified recombina...Continue Reading


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