Immune cell activation is a stringently regulated process, as exaggerated innate and adaptive immune responses can lead to autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Perhaps the best-characterized molecular pathway promoting cell activation is the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway. Stimulation of this pathway leads to transcription of numerous pro-inflammatory and cell-survival genes. Several mechanisms tightly control NF-κB activity, including the key regulatory zinc finger (de)ubiquitinating enzyme A20/tumor necrosis factor α-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the vicinity of the TNFAIP3 gene are associated with a spectrum of chronic systemic inflammatory diseases, indicative of its clinical relevance. Mice harboring targeted cell-specific deletions of the Tnfaip3 gene in innate immune cells such as macrophages spontaneously develop autoinflammatory disease. When immune cells involved in the adaptive immune response, such as dendritic cells or B-cells, are targeted for A20/TNFAIP3 deletion, mice develop spontaneous inflammation that resembles human autoimmune disease. Therefore, more knowledge on A20/TNFAIP3 function in cells of the immune system is beneficial in our understanding of autoinflammation and autoimmunity. Using the aforementioned mouse models, novel A20/TNFAIP3 functions have recently been described including control of necroptosis and inflammasome activity. In this review, we discuss the function of the A20/TNFAIP3 enzyme and its critical role in various innate and adaptive immune cells. Finally, we discuss the latest findings on TNFAIP3 SNPs in human autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases and address that genotyping of TNFAIP3 SNPs may guide treatment decisions.

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Frontiers in Immunology
Department of Pulmonology

Das, T., Chen, Z., Hendriks, R., & Kool, M. (2018). A20/tumor necrosis factor α-induced protein 3 in immune cells controls development of autoinflammation and autoimmunity. Frontiers in Immunology, 9(FEB). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.00104