Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2018 06 1;10(6). Epub 2018 Jun 1.
The Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology and the University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia.
The β common ([βc]/CD131) family of cytokines comprises granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin (IL)-3, and IL-5, all of which use βc as their key signaling receptor subunit. This is a prototypic signaling subunit-sharing cytokine family that has unveiled many biological paradigms and structural principles applicable to the IL-2, IL-4, and IL-6 receptor families, all of which also share one or more signaling subunits. Originally identified for their functions in the hematopoietic system, the βc cytokines are now known to be truly pleiotropic, impacting on multiple cell types, organs, and biological systems, and thereby controlling the balance between health and disease. This review will focus on the emerging biological roles for the βc cytokines, our progress toward understanding the mechanisms of receptor assembly and signaling, and the application of this knowledge to develop exciting new therapeutic approaches against human disease.