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Vitam Horm. 2006;74:77-103.

Interleukin-22 and its crystal structure.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Avenida Antônio Carlos, 6627 CEP 31270910, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a cytokine that regulates the production of acute phase proteins of the immunological response. On binding to its cognate receptor (IL-22R1), which is associated to the interleukin-10 receptor 2 (IL-10R2), IL-22 promotes activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway and several other cellular responses. A soluble receptor termed interleukin-22 binding protein (IL-22BP) is also able to bind to IL-22 as a natural protein antagonist, and probably provides systemic regulation of IL-22 activity. This inflammatory response system is analyzed here in terms of its molecular physiology and structural assembly. Three-dimensional (3D) model of IL-22 and structural basis of its interactions with the cognate receptors are discussed.

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