, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 4231-4235
Date: 27 Nov 2010

PTPN22 1858C>T (R620W) functional polymorphism and human longevity

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The PTPN22 gene, located on chromosome 1p13, encoding lymphoid protein tyrosine phosphatase (LYP), plays a crucial role in the negative control of T lymphocyte activation. Since the age-related change in T-cell signal transduction may be one of the most important causes of cell-mediated immune response decline with ageing, we performed a population-based association study to test whether the PTPN22 1858C>T (R620W) functional polymorphism affects the ability to survive to old age and to reach even exceptional life expectancy. 892 unrelated healthy individuals (age range 8–106 years, 403 males and 489 females) from central Italy were studied. For both gender, the frequency of PTPN22*T1858 carriers does not differ significantly in nona/centenarians and in octogenarians respect to young group. Allele and genotype frequencies of age groups were compared to those reported in previously published studied carried out on control individuals with Italic ancestry (N = 1393), further confirming results obtained from our sample population. Overall, our study suggests that PTPN22*T1858 allele is not negatively selected at oldest ages and we speculate that its increased ability to protect individuals against development of infectious diseases may counteract its deleterious effect on immune system leading to autoimmunity.