PurposeGenome-wide association study of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) revealed tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3, A20) as a susceptibility gene. Here, we report a de novo mutation in TNFAIP3 in a Chinese patient with neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE).MethodsWhole exome sequencing was performed for the patient and healthy members from the family. Suspected pathogenic variants were further analyzed and co-segregation was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Real-time PCR and western blot were performed with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and patient-derived T cells. Transfected HEK293T cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, normal human astrocytes, and microglia were used for in vitro studies.ResultsA de novo frameshift mutation in TNFAIP3 was found in the NPSLE patient. Western blot analysis showed activated NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Real-time PCR revealed elevated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. On immunoprecipitation assay, the mutant A20 altered the K63-linked ubiquitin level of TRAF6 via its ubiquitin-editing function.ConclusionsThe mutant A20 may play a role in weakening the tight junction of the blood-brain barrier to cause neurologic symptoms. We report a rare variant of TNFAIP3 in a patient with NPSLE and reveal its autoimmune disease–causing mechanism in both peripheral tissues and the central nervous system.