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J Biol Chem. 2007 May 4;282(18):13447-55. Epub 2007 Mar 13.

Identification of an interleukin 17F/17A heterodimer in activated human CD4+ T cells.

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  • 1Department of Inflammation, Wyeth Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, USA.


IL-17F and IL-17A are members of the IL-17 pro-inflammatory cytokine family. IL-17A has been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. IL-17F is a disulfide-linked dimer that contains a cysteine-knot motif. We hypothesized that IL-17F and IL-17A could form a heterodimer due to their sequence homology and overlapping pattern of expression. We evaluated the structure of recombinant IL-17F and IL-17A proteins, as well as that of natural IL-17F and IL-17A derived from activated human CD4+ T cells, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoprecipitation followed by Western blotting, and mass spectrometry. We find that both IL-17F and IL-17A can form both homodimeric and heterodimeric proteins when expressed in a recombinant system, and that all forms of the recombinant proteins have in vitro functional activity. Furthermore, we find that in addition to the homodimers of IL-17F and IL-17A, activated human CD4+ T cells also produce the IL-17F/IL-17A heterodimer. These data suggest that the IL-17F/IL-17A heterodimer may contribute to the T cell-mediated immune responses.

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