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Cell Immunol. 2012 Jul-Aug;278(1-2):136-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

VSTM1-v2, a novel soluble glycoprotein, promotes the differentiation and activation of Th17 cells.

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Peking University Center for Human Disease Genomics, Department of Immunology, Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Ministry of Health, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing 100191, China.


Cytokines are soluble proteins that mediate immune reactions and are responsible for communication among immune cells. CD4(+) T cells are the principle sources of cytokines of adaptive immunity. Cytokines play critical roles in the differentiation and effector function of CD4(+) T cells. They also play key roles in diseases, and some of them have been developed into drugs in the forms of recombinant cytokines, soluble receptors and neutralizing antibodies. Therefore, identifying novel potential cytokines is necessary and beneficial for better understanding immunology and enhancing human health. To find novel potential cytokines, we carried out an integrated bioinformatics analysis on the whole human genome. Cytokine candidates were selected for cDNA cloning, sub-cloning, secretion verification, expression profile analysis and functional study. Here, we report a novel soluble protein, VSTM1-v2, which is a classical secretory glycoprotein mainly expressed in immune tissues, and can promote the differentiation and activation of Th17 cells.

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