IL 12 family of cytokines consists of 4 heterodimeric protein members including IL 12, IL 23, IL 27 and IL 35. IL 12 family members are the only heterodimeric cytokine with several unique and distinctive features. IL 12 family members have similar structure with two protein subunits including one α chain (p19, p28 or p35) and one β chain (p40 or Ebi3). The signaling of IL 12 family is mediated by members of the Janus kinase-signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK-STAT) family. IL 12 family members are involved in driving T-helper cell development and are related to granulomatous inflammatory diseases, for instance, tuberculosis and Crohn’s disease.
IL 12 induces IFNγ production by T cells and NK cells. IL 23, similar to IL 12, is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is produced by activated DCs and responds to microbial pathogens by CD40-CD40L interactions. IL 27 has been reported to have both pro-stimulatory and inhibitory functions. IL 35 appears to be exclusively produced by regulatory T cell populations and IL 35 suppresses T cell proliferation by inducing cell cycle arrest in G1 without inducing apoptosis.
IL 12 family related literatures
1. Ringkowski S, Thomas PS, Herbert C. Interleukin-12 family cytokines and sarcoidosis. Front Pharmacol. 2014 Oct 27;5:233.
2. Vignali DA, Kuchroo VK. IL-12 family cytokines: immunological playmakers. Nat Immunol. 2012 Jul 19;13(8):722-8.
3. Wei XQ, Rogers H, Lewis MA, Williams DW. The role of the IL-12 cytokine family in directing T-cell responses in oral candidosis. Clin Dev Immunol. 2011;2011:697340.