Science Signaling Podcast: 27 November 2012

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Sci. Signal.  27 Nov 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 252, pp. pc27
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003763

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This Podcast features an interview with Rose Zamoyska, senior author of a Research Article that appears in this issue of Science Signaling. Zamoyska’s group has investigated the role of the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPN22 in autoimmunity. The balance of immune cell activity is important for keeping the immune system functioning properly, and autoimmune disease can result when effector T cells are overly active or when regulatory T cells, which inhibit effector T cell responses, are less active. PTPN22 has been implicated in autoimmune disease in humans, but mice lacking this phosphatase do not develop spontaneous autoimmunity. The study by Brownlie et al. revealed that, although PTPN22-deficient mice had greater effector T cell activity than wild-type mice, their regulatory T cells also exhibited greater immunosuppressive activity. These findings explain why PTPN22-deficient mice do not develop spontaneous autoimmunity and suggests that PTPN22 could be targeted for treating autoimmune disease.

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