The Skinny on Interleukin 20

Science's STKE  23 Jan 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 66, pp. tw3
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.66.tw3

From mining EST databases with an algorithm designed to identify helical cytokines, Blumberg et al. have turned up interleukin 20 (IL-20), a cytokine that appears to regulate the epidermis. When IL-20 was overexpressed in transgenic mice, skin abnormalities reflecting hyperproliferation were observed. Biochemical analysis of known class II cytokine receptors revealed that IL-20 binds to a specific heterodimeric receptor that is expressed in human skin, and it is also overexpressed in skin of psoriasis patients. The report suggests that IL-20 may exert its effects through a pathway involving signal transducers and activators of transduction elements (STATS), as STAT3 translocated to the nucleus when cells overexpressing the IL-20 receptor were treated with the cytokine.

H. Blumberg, D. Conkin, W. Xu, A. Grossmann, T. Brender, S. Carollo, M. Eagen, D. Foster, B. A. Haldeman, A. Hammond, H. Haugen, L. Jelinek, J. D. Kelly, K. Madden, M. F. Maurer, J. Parrish-Novak, D. Prunkard, S. Sexson, C. Sprecher, K. Waggie, J. West, T. E. Whitmore, L. Yao, M. K. Kuechle, B. A. Dale, Y. A. Chandrasekher, Interleukin 20: Discovery, receptor identification, and role in epidermis function. Cell 104, 9-19 (2001). [Online Journal]