Cytokine receptors are cell surface receptors that bind specifically to cytokines and transduce their signals, including chemokine receptor, interleukin receptor, interferon receptor, tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF receptor), colony-stimulating factor receptor (CSF receptor), growth factor receptors and TGF-beta superfamily receptors .
The patterns of expression of cytokine receptors are a product of differentiation and provide for changes in physiological regulation. These cytokine receptors enable cells to communicate with the extracellular environment by responding to signals generated in the vicinity or in other parts of the organism. Thus, the initial binding of cytokines to their receptors is a key event that occurs rapidly, at very low cytokine concentrations, is usually virtually irreversible, and leads to intracellular changes resulting in a biologic response. The biologic response can vary between cytokine receptors and from cell to cell but in general it involves gene expression, changes in the cell cycle, and release of mediators such as cytokines themselves.
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