CD22 is a 140-kDa member of the Siglec family of cell surface proteins that is expressed by most mature B-cell lineages. As a co-receptor of the B-cell receptor (BCR), it is known to contribute to the sensitive control of the B-cell response to antigen. Cross-linking of CD22 and the BCR by antigen triggers the phosphorylation of CD22, which leads to activation of signaling molecules such as phosphatases. Signal transduction pathways involving CD22 have been explored in a number of mouse models, some of which have provided evidence that in the absence of functional CD22, B cells have a "hyperactivated" phenotype, and suggest that loss of CD22 function could contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Modulating CD22 activity has therefore been suggested as a possible therapeutic approach to such diseases. For example, the novel CD22-targeting monoclonal antibody epratuzumab is currently under investigation as a treatment for the connective tissue disorder systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).