Autoimmunity is the consequence of the combination of genetic predisposition and environmental effects, such as infection, injury, and constitution of the gut microbiome. In this edition of the JCI, Dai et al. describe the use of knockin technology to test the mechanism of action of a polymorphism in the protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor 22 (PTPN22) (LYP) that is associated with susceptibility to multiple autoimmune diseases. The function of this allele, and that of a disproportionate number of autoimmune disease risk alleles, suggests that inhibitory signaling pathways that maintain B lymphocyte immune tolerance may represent an Achilles’ heel in the prevention of autoimmunity.


John C. Cambier


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