Like interleukin-23 (IL-23), IL-27 is a recently discovered member of the IL-6/IL-12 family of proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines. It exists as a heterodimer composed of the p40-related protein EBI3 and an IL-12 p35-related protein termed p28. IL-27 is produced after activation by antigen-presenting cells and induces proliferation of naïve but not memory CD4+ T-cells. It acts by binding to its receptor WSX-1 and gp130 which results in the activation of a Jak/STAT signaling cascade, suggesting the IL-27 is involved in the regulation of immune processes. It has been suggested that IL-27 can also be used as a therapeutic agent against cancer as it can also induce tumor-specific anti-tumor activity mediated through CD8+ T-cells, IFN-gamma, and T-bet.
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