Cytokine receptor

Key steps of the JAK-STAT pathway for type 1 and 2 cytokine receptors
Signal transduction. (Cytokine receptor at center left.)

Cytokine receptors are receptors that bind cytokines.

In recent years, the cytokine receptors have come to demand the attention of more investigators than cytokines themselves, partly because of their remarkable characteristics, and partly because a deficiency of cytokine receptors has now been directly linked to certain debilitating immunodeficiency states. In this regard, and also because the redundancy and pleiotropy of cytokines are a consequence of their homologous receptors, many authorities are now of the opinion that a classification of cytokine receptors would be more clinically and experimentally useful.


A classification of cytokine receptors based on their three-dimensional structure has been attempted. (Such a classification, though seemingly cumbersome, provides several unique perspectives for attractive pharmacotherapeutic targets.)


Type Examples Structure Mechanism
type I cytokine receptor Certain conserved motifs in their extracellular amino-acid domain. Connected to Janus kinase (JAK) family of tyrosine kinases JAK phosphorylate and activate downstream proteins involved in their signal transduction pathways
type II cytokine receptor
Many members of the immunoglobulin superfamily Share structural homology with immunoglobulins (antibodies), cell adhesion molecules, and even some cytokines.
Tumor necrosis factor receptor family cysteine-rich common extracellular binding domain
chemokine receptors Seven transmembrane helix G protein-coupled
TGF beta receptors


Cytokine receptors may be both membrane-bound and soluble. Soluble cytokine receptors are extremely common regulators of cytokine function. Soluble cytokine receptors typically consist of the extracellular portions of membrane-bound receptors. .[1]

See also


  1. Heaney ML1, Golde DW (1998). "Soluble receptors in human disease". Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 64 (2): 135–146. PMID 9715251.

External links

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