Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a large number of SNPs that are linked to human autoimmune diseases. However, the functional consequences of most of these genetic variations remain undefined. T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP, which is encoded by PTPN2) is a JAK/STAT and growth factor receptor phosphatase that has been linked to the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease by GWAS. In this issue of the JCI, Wiede and colleagues have generated a T cell–specific deletion of TCPTP and identified a novel role for this phosphatase as a negative regulator of TCR signaling. These data provide new insight as to how noncoding PTPN2 SNPs identified in GWAS could drive human autoimmune diseases.
Julie Zikherman, Arthur Weiss
Dual regulatory functions for TCPTP in T cells.