Identification and functional characterization of a second chain of the interleukin-10 receptor complex.
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a pleiotropic cytokine which signals through a specific cell surface receptor complex. Only one chain, that for ligand binding (IL-10Ralpha or IL-10R1), was identified previously. We report here that, although human IL-10 binds to the human IL-10R1 chain expressed in hamster cells, it does not induce signal transduction. However, the co-expression of CRFB4, a transmembrane protein of previously unknown function belonging to the class II cytokine receptor family, together with the IL-10R1 chain renders hamster cells sensitive to IL-10. The IL-10:CRFB4 complex was detected by cross-linking to labeled IL-10. In addition, the IL-10R1 chain was able to be co-immunoprecipitated with anti-CRF antibody when peripheral blood mononuclear cells were treated with IL-10. These results demonstrate that the CRFB4 chain is part of the IL-10 receptor signaling complex. Thus, the CRFB4 chain, which we designate as the IL-10R2 or IL-10Rbeta chain, serves as an accessory chain essential for the active IL-10 receptor complex and to initiate IL-10-induced signal transduction events.