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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

AIRE and immunological tolerance: insights from the study of autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophy.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the clinical and molecular features of autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophy and discuss recent advances in the function of the AIRE protein. We will summarize how AIRE contributes to immunological tolerance, and thus to the prevention of autoimmunity. RECENT FINDINGS: The organization of a well-structured thymic microenvironment and the interaction between nascent thymocytes and thymic epithelial cells have been shown to be essential for AIRE expression. AIRE is involved in the expression of ectopic proteins by medullary thymic epithelial cells. This allows the establishment of central tolerance and contributes to the prevention of organ-specific autoimmunity, as shown by findings in patients with autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophy (a disease caused by AIRE gene mutations) and in aire (-/-) mice. SUMMARY: Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophy represents a unique model to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern central tolerance and help prevent autoimmunity. Recent findings indicate that the compartmentalization of AIRE and interaction with other proteins are involved in this mechanism. The disturbance of AIRE expression may also be responsible for autoimmune manifestations in disorders with disrupted thymic structure other than autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophy alone.[1]

References

  1. AIRE and immunological tolerance: insights from the study of autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophy. Notarangelo, L.D., Mazza, C., Forino, C., Mazzolari, E., Buzi, F. Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology. (2004) [Pubmed]
 
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