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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Aug 14;98(17):9511-6. Epub 2001 Jul 31.

A soluble class II cytokine receptor, IL-22RA2, is a naturally occurring IL-22 antagonist.

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  • 1ZymoGenetics Inc., Seattle, WA 98102, USA.


IL-22 is an IL-10 homologue that binds to and signals through the class II cytokine receptor heterodimer IL-22RA1/CRF2-4. IL-22 is produced by T cells and induces the production of acute-phase reactants in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its involvement in inflammation. Here we report the identification of a class II cytokine receptor designated IL-22RA2 (IL-22 receptor-alpha 2) that appears to be a naturally expressed soluble receptor. IL-22RA2 shares amino acid sequence homology with IL-22RA1 (also known as IL-22R, zcytor11, and CRF2-9) and is physically adjacent to IL-20Ralpha and IFN-gammaR1 on chromosome 6q23.3-24.2. We demonstrate that IL-22RA2 binds specifically to IL-22 and neutralizes IL-22-induced proliferation of BaF3 cells expressing IL-22 receptor subunits. IL-22RA2 mRNA is highly expressed in placenta and spleen by Northern blotting. PCR analysis using RNA from various tissues and cell lines showed that IL-22RA2 was expressed in a range of tissues, including those in the digestive, female reproductive, and immune systems. In situ hybridization revealed the dominant cell types expressing IL-22RA2 were mononuclear cells and epithelium. Because IL-22 induces the expression of acute phase reactants, IL-22RA2 may play an important role as an IL-22 antagonist in the regulation of inflammatory responses.

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