Tipping the Scales

Science  30 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5658, pp. 585f
DOI: 10.1126/science.303.5658.585f

Effective immune responses depend on the precise activation and deactivation of signaling cascades by protein tyrosine kinases (PTK) and phosphatases (PTPases). The PEST-domain enriched tyrosine phosphatase (PEP) is one such PTPase, which opposes T cell receptor signaling. Hasegawa et al. (p. 685) report that the loss of PEP activity in mice produced unchecked effector and memory T cell responses. Although this stopped short of causing overt autoimmunity in PEP-deficient mice, excessive B cell responses were evident, suggesting a role for the phosphatase in regulating diverse aspects of T cell coordinated immunity.

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