Molecular characteristics of IL13

Human IL-13 is a 12kDa nonglycosylated four-helix, ot-helical protein. Alternative splicing results in two functionally similar isoforms of hIL-13 consisting of 131 or 132 amino acids, the latter having an additional glutamine residue at position 98. IL-13 protein is approximately 25% homologous to IL-4, and all residues that contribute to the hydrophobic structural core of IL-4 are conserved, or have conservative replacements in IL-13, suggesting that the three-dimensional structures of IL-4 and IL-13 are comparable. The gene encoding human IL-13 is located on chromosome 5q31, in the same cluster of genes encoding the cytokines IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-9 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The IL-13 gene is only 12 kb upstream from the gene encoding IL-4, indicative for gene duplication during the evolution of these two genes. IL-13 and IL-4 share many, but not all, biological properties, which is partially due to differential expression of IL-4 and IL-13 receptors.

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