Immune cells are activated as a result of productive interactions between ligands and various receptors known as immunoreceptors. These receptors function by recruiting cytoplasmic protein tyrosine kinases, which trigger a unique phosphorylation signal leading to cell activation. In the recent past, there has been increasing interest in elucidating the processes involved in the negative regulation of immunoreceptor-mediated signal transduction. Evidence is accumulating that immunoreceptor signaling is inhibited by complex and highly regulated mechanisms that involve receptors, protein tyrosine kinases, protein tyrosine phosphatases, lipid phosphatases, ubiquitin ligases, and inhibitory adaptor molecules. Genetic evidence indicates that this inhibitory machinery is crucial for normal immune cell homeostasis.