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Cytokines 

Cytokines

Chapter:
Cytokines
Author(s):

Iain B. McInnes

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.0403
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date: 23 August 2017

Cytokines are small glycoprotein mediators that are involved in every facet of immune effector function and regulation. More than 200 cytokines have been identified, which may usefully be classified in structurally related superfamilies. They can (1) function through binding to specific receptors that in turn signal via complex transduction pathways to regulate gene expression, thereby mediating positive and negative regulatory activities; (2) operate as soluble mediators in the extracellular domain or within cells, where they may also traffic to the nucleus and exhibit dual function as transcriptional regulators; (3) be expressed initially on the cell membrane, where they may exert effector function directly in cell–cell interactions, or from which they can be subsequently cleaved to yield bioactive soluble molecules, thereby mediating autocrine and paracrine activities around their cellular source....

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