Cytokines play an important role in the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. In general, cytokines exert rapidly inducible but transient cellular responses. Whereas signal transduction by cytokines is nowadays known in molecular details, counteraction and termination by negative regulation are only partly understood. However, the integration of positive and negative signals is mandatory to ensure immunological homeostasis. Type I and II cytokine receptors (including receptors for interferons, interleukins, and hematopoietic growth factors) typically lack intrinsic kinase activity. Instead, cytokines that trigger those receptors activate receptor-associated cytoplasmic Janus kinases (JAKs) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)...
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