THE P40 DOMAIN OF HUMAN INTERLEUKIN-12
[IL12B_HUMAN] Defects in IL12B are a cause of Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD) [MIM:209950]; also known as familial disseminated atypical mycobacterial infection. This rare condition confers predisposition to illness caused by moderately virulent mycobacterial species, such as Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine and environmental non-tuberculous mycobacteria, and by the more virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Other microorganisms rarely cause severe clinical disease in individuals with susceptibility to mycobacterial infections, with the exception of Salmonella which infects less than 50% of these individuals. The pathogenic mechanism underlying MSMD is the impairment of interferon-gamma mediated immunity, whose severity determines the clinical outcome. Some patients die of overwhelming mycobacterial disease with lepromatous-like lesions in early childhood, whereas others develop, later in life, disseminated but curable infections with tuberculoid granulomas. MSMD is a genetically heterogeneous disease with autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant or X-linked inheritance.  Genetic variations in IL12B are a cause of susceptibility to psoriasis type 11 (PSORS11) [MIM:612599]. Psoriasis is a common, chronic inflammatory disease of the skin with multifactorial etiology. It is characterized by red, scaly plaques usually found on the scalp, elbows and knees. These lesions are caused by abnormal keratinocyte proliferation and infiltration of inflammatory cells into the dermis and epidermis. 
[IL12B_HUMAN] Cytokine that can act as a growth factor for activated T and NK cells, enhance the lytic activity of NK/lymphokine-activated killer cells, and stimulate the production of IFN-gamma by resting PBMC. Associates with IL23A to form the IL-23 interleukin, a heterodimeric cytokine which functions in innate and adaptive immunity. IL-23 may constitute with IL-17 an acute response to infection in peripheral tissues. IL-23 binds to a heterodimeric receptor complex composed of IL12RB1 and IL23R, activates the Jak-Stat signaling cascade, stimulates memory rather than naive T-cells and promotes production of proinflammatory cytokines. IL-23 induces autoimmune inflammation and thus may be responsible for autoimmune inflammatory diseases and may be important for tumorigenesis.
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Human interleukin-12 (IL-12, p70) is an early pro-inflammatory cytokine, comprising two disulfide-linked subunits, p35 and p40. We solved the crystal structures of monomeric human p40 at 2.5 A and the human p70 complex at 2.8 A resolution, which reveals that IL-12 is similar to class 1 cytokine-receptor complexes. They also include the first description of an N-terminal immunoglobulin-like domain, found on the p40 subunit. Several charged residues from p35 and p40 intercalate to form a unique interlocking topography, shown by mutagenesis to be critical for p70 formation. A central arginine residue from p35 projects into a deep pocket on p40, which may be an ideal target for a small molecule antagonist of IL-12 formation.
Charged residues dominate a unique interlocking topography in the heterodimeric cytokine interleukin-12.,Yoon C, Johnston SC, Tang J, Stahl M, Tobin JF, Somers WS EMBO J. 2000 Jul 17;19(14):3530-41. PMID:10899108
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.