In the present paper, we report the identification of a new gene encoding a transmembrane protein of 520 amino acids, showing 22% amino acid identity with the extracellular domain of the interleukin (IL)-20 receptor. This gene, termed likely interleukin or cytokine receptor-2 (LICR2), is located on chromosome 1, at 25kb from the IL22R (IL-22 receptor) gene, and is constitutively expressed in most tissues. A chimaeric receptor, consisting of the extracellular domain of the IL-10 receptorα chain and the intracellular domain of LICR2, activated signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)1, STAT2, STAT3 and STAT5 upon IL-10 stimulation, in a Janus kinase 1-dependent manner. In contrast, none of the IL-10-related cytokines described so far could activate LICR2-transfected cells, suggesting that LICR2 is a signalling receptor for a new cytokine of the IL-10 family.

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