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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Jan 18;97(2):773-8.

Cloning and characterization of IL-17B and IL-17C, two new members of the IL-17 cytokine family.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


IL-17 is a T cell-derived cytokine that may play an important role in the initiation or maintenance of the proinflammatory response. Whereas expression of IL-17 is restricted to activated T cells, the IL-17 receptor is found to be widely expressed, a finding consistent with the pleiotropic activities of IL-17. We have cloned and expressed two novel human cytokines, IL-17B and IL-17C, that are related to IL-17 ( approximately 27% amino acid identity). IL-17B mRNA is expressed in adult pancreas, small intestine, and stomach, whereas IL-17C mRNA is not detected by RNA blot hybridization of several adult tissues. No expression of IL-17B or IL-17C mRNA is found in activated T cells. In a survey of cytokine induction, IL-17B and IL-17C stimulate the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-1beta from the monocytic cell line, THP-1, whereas IL-17 has only a weak effect in this system. No induction of IL-1alpha, IL-6, IFN-gamma, or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is found in THP-1 cells. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis shows that IL-17B and IL-17C bind to THP-1 cells. Conversely, IL-17B and IL-17C are not active in an IL-17 assay or the stimulation of IL-6 release from human fibroblasts and do not bind to the human IL-17 receptor extracellular domain. These data show that there is a family of IL-17-related cytokines differing in patterns of expression and proinflammatory responses that may be transduced through a cognate set of cell surface receptors.

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