The Src homology (SH) 2/SH3 domain-containing protein Grb2 and the oncoprotein Shc have been implicated in a highly conserved mechanism that regulates p21ras activation. We investigated the involvement of these adaptor proteins in the signaling pathway induced by CD16 or interleukin (IL) 2R triggering in human natural killer (NK) cells. Both p46 and p52 forms of Shc were rapidly and transiently tyrosine phosphorylated upon CD16 or IL-2 stimulation with different kinetics. Shc immunoprecipitates from lysates of CD16- or IL-2-stimulated NK cells contained Grb2 and an unidentified 145-kD tyrosine phosphoprotein. Grb2 immunoprecipitates from anti-CD16-stimulated NK cells contained not only Shc, but also a 36-kD tyrosine phosphoprotein (p36). The interaction between Grb2 and Shc or p36 occurred via the Grb2SH2 domain as indicated by in vitro binding assays using a bacteriologically synthesized glutathione S-transferase-Grb2SH2 fusion protein. We also present evidence that p21ras is activated by CD16 and IL-2R cross-linking. Accumulation of guanosine triphosphate-bound Ras was detected within 1 minute and occurred with kinetics similar to inductive protein tyrosine phosphorylation and Grb2 association of Shc and p36 adaptor proteins.

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