IL-27 is a heterodimeric cytokine comprised of the IL-12 p35-related protein, p28, and the IL-12 p40-related protein, EBI3 (Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3). IL-27 is expressed by monocytes, endothelial cells and dendritic cells. It binds TCCR/WSX-1 on naive CD4+ T cells and induces the expression of a functional IL-12 receptor, making these cells sensitive to IL-12-mediated Th1 cell development. Human EBI3 also associates with the p35 subunit of IL-12 to form IL-35 which is important for immunosuppressive Treg cell induction. EBI3 is 61% amino acid (aa) identical to mouse EBI3 and includes an 20 aa signal peptide anda 209 aa mature protein with two fibronectin type III domains.
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