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Cells of the immune system possess many multisubunit receptors that are composed of a ligand-binding subunit associated with distinct signaling adaptors containing one or more immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs). These receptors include the T cell receptor, the B cell receptor, and many Fc receptors, as well as families of activating receptors on myeloid and natural killer cells. Receptors that associate with ITAM-containing adaptors classically have been viewed as transducing activating signals involving phosphorylation of the tyrosines within the ITAM and recruitment of Syk family tyrosine kinases. Receptors associated with ITAM-containing adaptors in myeloid cells have also been implicated in inhibition of cellular activation. Here, we discuss these new negative roles for signaling by receptors that associate with ITAM-bearing adaptors in myeloid and other cell types within the immune system.