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J Immunol. 2008 Aug 15;181(4):2799-805.

The human IL-17F/IL-17A heterodimeric cytokine signals through the IL-17RA/IL-17RC receptor complex.

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  • 1Department of Inflammation, Wyeth Research, Cambridge, MA 02140, USA. jwright@wyeth.com


IL-17A and IL-17F, produced by the Th17 CD4(+) T cell lineage, have been linked to a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. We recently reported that activated human CD4(+) T cells produce not only IL-17A and IL-17F homodimers but also an IL-17F/IL-17A heterodimeric cytokine. All three cytokines can induce chemokine secretion from bronchial epithelial cells, albeit with different potencies. In this study, we used small interfering RNA and Abs to IL-17RA and IL-17RC to demonstrate that heterodimeric IL-17F/IL-17A cytokine activity is dependent on the IL-17RA/IL-17RC receptor complex. Interestingly, surface plasmon resonance studies indicate that the three cytokines bind to IL-17RC with comparable affinities, whereas they bind to IL-17RA with different affinities. Thus, we evaluated the effect of the soluble receptors on cytokine activity and we find that soluble receptors exhibit preferential cytokine blockade. IL-17A activity is inhibited by IL-17RA, IL-17F is inhibited by IL-17RC, and a combination of soluble IL-17RA/IL-17RC receptors is required for inhibition of the IL-17F/IL-17A activity. Altogether, these results indicate that human IL-17F/IL-17A cytokine can bind and signal through the same receptor complex as human IL-17F and IL-17A. However, the distinct affinities of the receptor components for IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-17F/IL-17A heterodimer can be exploited to differentially affect the activity of these cytokines.

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