The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the interleukin 1 cytokine family. This cytokine can bind to, and may be a ligand for interleukin 18 receptor (IL18R1/IL-1Rrp). This cytokine also binds to interleukin 18 binding protein (IL18BP), an inhibitory binding protein of interleukin 18 (IL18), and subsequently forms a complex with IL18 receptor beta subunit, and through which it inhibits the activity of IL18. This gene along with eight other interleukin 1 family genes form a cytokine gene cluster on chromosome 2. Five alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been reported.
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