Class II cytokine receptors and their ligands: key antiviral and inflammatory modulators

Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Aug;3(8):667-76. doi: 10.1038/nri1153.


Class II cytokine receptors were originally defined on the basis of sequence homologies in the extracellular domains of receptors for interferons (IFNs) and interleukin-10 (IL-10), and the ligands, known as class II cytokines, also have a common structure. More recently, a series of new receptors and cytokines that belong to this family have been discovered. The therapeutic potential of the 'old' members of this family, IFNs and IL-1, is recognized in the clinic, and the existence of structurally related molecules is raising expectations for additional clinical applications. In this review, I discuss both structural and biological data that are emerging about this family of receptors and ligands, to highlight the potential applications of modulating the activity of these cytokines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / chemistry
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Receptors, Cytokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytokine / immunology*
  • Receptors, Cytokine / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Cytokine