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IL-27, a heterodimeric cytokine composed of EBI3 and p28 protein, induces proliferation of naive CD4(+) T cells.

Pflanz S., Timans J.C., Cheung J., Rosales R., Kanzler H., Gilbert J., Hibbert L., Churakova T., Travis M., Vaisberg E., Blumenschein W.M., Mattson J.D., Wagner J.L., To W., Zurawski S., McClanahan T.K., Gorman D.M., Bazan J.F., de Waal Malefyt R., Rennick D., Kastelein R.A.

An efficient Th1-driven adaptive immune response requires activation of the T cell receptor and secretion of the T cell stimulatory cytokine IL-12 by activated antigen-presenting cells. IL-12 triggers Th1 polarization of naive CD4(+) T cells and secretion of IFN-gamma. We describe a new heterodimeric cytokine termed IL-27 that consists of EBI3, an IL-12p40-related protein, and p28, a newly discovered IL-12p35-related polypeptide. IL-27 is an early product of activated antigen-presenting cells and drives rapid clonal expansion of naive but not memory CD4(+) T cells. It also strongly synergizes with IL-12 to trigger IFN-gamma production of naive CD4(+) T cells. IL-27 mediates its biologic effects through the orphan cytokine receptor WSX-1/TCCR.

Immunity 16:779-790(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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