Au-Yeung BB, Deindl S, Hsu LY, Palacios EH, Levin SE, Kuriyan J, Weiss A
Immunol. Rev. 228 (1) 41-57 [2009-03-00; online 2009-03-18]
The tyrosine ZAP-70 (zeta-associated protein of 70 kDa) kinase plays a critical role in activating many downstream signal transduction pathways in T cells following T-cell receptor (TCR) engagement. The importance of ZAP-70 is evidenced by the severe combined immunodeficiency that occurs in ZAP-70-deficient mice and humans. In this review, we describe recent analyses of the ZAP-70 crystal structure, revealing a complex regulatory mechanism of ZAP-70 activity, the differential requirements for ZAP-70 and spleen tyrosine kinase (SyK) in early T-cell development, as well as the role of ZAP-70 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and autoimmunity. Thus, the critical importance of ZAP-70 in TCR signaling and its predominantly T-cell-restricted expression pattern make ZAP-70 an attractive drug target for the inhibition of pathological T-cell responses in disease.