Structure of Interleukin-23
[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. [IL23A_HUMAN] Associates with IL12B 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
Interleukin (IL)-23 is a recently identified member of the IL-12 family of heterodimeric cytokines that modulate subpopulations of T helper cells, and both IL-12 and IL-23 are attractive targets for therapy of autoimmune diseases. IL-23 is a binary complex of a four-helix bundle cytokine (p19) and a soluble class I cytokine receptor p40. IL-12 and IL-23 share p40 as an alpha-receptor subunit, yet show only 15% sequence homology between their four-helix cytokines p19 and p35, respectively, and signal through different combinations of shared receptors. In order to elucidate the structural basis of p40 sharing, we have determined a 2.3-A crystal structure of IL-23 for comparison to the previously determined structure of IL-12. The docking mode of p19 to p40 is altered compared to p35, deviating by a 'tilt' and 'roll' that results in an altered footprint of p40 on the A and D helices of the respective cytokines. Binding of p19 to p40 is mediated primarily by an arginine residue on helix D of p19 that forms an extensive charge and hydrogen-bonding network with residues at the base of a pocket on p40. This 'arginine pocket' is lined with an inner shell of hydrophobic interactions that are ringed by an outer shell of polar interactions. Comparative analysis indicates that the IL-23 and IL-12 complexes 'mimic' the network of interactions constituting the central arginine pocket despite p19 and p35 having limited sequence homology. The majority of the structural epitopes in the two complexes are composed of unique p19 and p35 pairwise contacts with common residues on p40. Thus, while the critical hotspot is maintained in the two complexes, the majority of the interfaces are structurally distinct and, therefore, provide a basis for the therapeutic targeting of IL-12 versus IL-23 heterodimer formation despite their use of a common receptor subunit.
The structure of interleukin-23 reveals the molecular basis of p40 subunit sharing with interleukin-12.,Lupardus PJ, Garcia KC J Mol Biol. 2008 Oct 17;382(4):931-41. Epub 2008 Jul 25. PMID:18680750
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.