IL-13 receptor isoforms: breaking through the complexity

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2007 Sep;7(5):338-45. doi: 10.1007/s11882-007-0051-x.


Interleukin (IL)-13 is an immunoregulatory cytokine secreted predominantly by activated T-helper type 2 (Th2) cells, and it has been identified as crucial in developing allergic inflammatory responses. Its diverse functions are mediated by a complex receptor system including IL-4 receptor alpha (IL-4Ralpha; CD124) and two other cognate cell surface proteins, IL-13Ralpha1 (CD213a1) and IL-13Ralpha2 (CD213a2). IL-13Ralpha1 forms a heterodimer with IL-4Ralpha that is a signaling IL-13 receptor. In contrast, IL-13Ralpha2 has been thought to be a decoy receptor due to its short cytoplasmic tail. IL-13Ralpha2 exists on the cell membrane, intracellularly, and in soluble form. Recent reports revealed that membrane IL-13Ralpha2 may have some signaling capabilities, and soluble IL-13Ralpha2 is a critical endogenous modulator for IL-13 responses. The receptor has more complicated functions than a simple decoy receptor. In this review, we describe the isoforms of IL-13Ralpha2 and discuss newly revealed functions of IL-13Ralpha2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Disease
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-13 Receptor alpha2 Subunit / analysis
  • Interleukin-13 Receptor alpha2 Subunit / genetics
  • Interleukin-13 Receptor alpha2 Subunit / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Protein Isoforms / analysis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13 / analysis
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13 / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Interleukin-13 Receptor alpha2 Subunit
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13