In the past cytokine receptors have begun to demand the attention of more researchers than the cytokines themselves, partly because of their remarkable properties and partly because the lack of cytokine receptors is currently directly associated with some debilitating conditions of immunodeficiency. In this regard, and also because cytokine redundancy and pleomorphism are indeed the result of their homologous receptors, many experts believe that the classification of cytokine receptors would be more useful from a clinical and experimental point of view.
Therefore, attempts were made to classify cytokine receptors based on their three-dimensional structure. This classification, although cumbersome, offers some unique perspectives for attractive pharmacotherapeutic purposes.
The immunoglobulin superfamily (Ig), which is generally present in several cells and tissues of the vertebrate body, shares structural homology with immunoglobulins (antibodies), cell adhesion molecules, and even some cytokines. Examples: IL-1 receptor types.
The family of hematopoietic growth factors (type 1) whose members have certain conservative motives in their extracellular amino acid domain. The IL-2 receptor belongs to this chain, whose γ-chain deficit (common to other cytokines) is directly responsible for the X-linked form of severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID).
The family of interferons (type 2) whose members are receptors for IFNβ and γ.
A family of tumor necrosis factors (TNF) (type 3), members of which have a common extracellular binding domain rich in cysteine, and includes several other non-cytokine ligands, such as CD40, besides the family-designated (TNF) ligands , CD27 and CD30.
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