Kinase Family TAM

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Kinase Classification: Group TK: Family TAM

Vertebrate-specific family of receptor tyrosine kinases. This family was named "Axl" until 2016. TAM represents the three human members: Tyro3, Axl, and Mer

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TAMs are found in all vertebrates, with likely orthologs in invertebrate chordates and possibly other invertebrates. There are three members in humans and other tetrapods and four in most fish. A possible TAM has been seen in the invertebrate chordate, Ciona intestinalis.

Domain Structure

TAMs are single-pass transmembrane proteins, with extracellular Ig and FN3 domains, and an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain.


TAMs have overlapping functions. They all bind a pair of homologous ligands, protein S and Gas6. They lack embryonic developmental functions (even a triple knockout mouse is viable and fertile) and have homeostatic regulatory roles in several adult tissues [1].

TAMs activate canonical PI3K and Ras signaling pathway via Grb2 binding sites C-terminal of the kinase domain, and in immune cells also interact with interferon receptors and induce a JAK/STAT response.


  1. Lemke G. Biology of the TAM receptors. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2013 Nov 1;5(11):a009076. DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a009076 | PubMed ID:24186067 | HubMed [Lemke]