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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2009 Feb;20(1):43-59. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2008.11.006. Epub 2008 Nov 28.

Cytokine and cytokine receptor gene polymorphisms and their functionality.

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Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics, Department of Medicine, University College London, United Kingdom.


Cytokines, signaling proteins produced by a variety of cell types, are essential for the development and functioning of both innate and adaptive immune response. Cytokine gene expression is tightly regulated, and aberrant expression from environmental and genetic polymorphism has been implicated in a range of diseases, susceptibility to infections, and responses to treatment. This review concentrates on the functionality of cytokine and cytokine receptor gene polymorphisms; it is through these variants that genuine disease-associations are based. Several mechanisms for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) functionality are present within cytokine genes including: amino acid changes (IL-6R, IL-13, IL-1alpha), exon skipping (IL-7Ralpha), proximal promoter variants (IL-1beta, IL-Ra, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-16, TNF, IFN-gamma, TGF-beta), distal promoter variants (IL-6, IL-18) and intronic enhancer variants (IL-8).

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