We have generated mice with targeted disruptions of the src-like genes hck and fgr to assess the role of these kinases in myeloid cell development and function. Hematopoiesis appears to proceed normally in both hck(-/-) and fgr(-/-) animals, and in hck(-/-)-fgr(-/-) double homozygotes, but phagocytosis is impaired in hck(-/-) macrophages. Macrophages cultured from doubly homozygous, hck(-/-)-fgr(-/-) animals retain many other normal functional properties, suggesting that the deficiency of these kinases is complemented by other src family members. The specific activity of the Lyn protein kinase is increased in hck(-/-) macrophages, implying that Lyn may compensate for a deficiency in Hck. Doubly mutant animals, however, have a novel immunodeficiency characterized by an increased susceptibility to infection with Listeria monocytogenes, indicating that either hck or fgr is required to maintain a normal natural immune response. These data provide the first direct example of genetic interactions between src gene family members.
- natural immunity