IL-26 is classified as a member of the IL-10 cytokine family because it has limited sequence homology to IL-10 and the IL-10-related cytokines. The human IL-26 gene, IL26, is located on chromosome 12q15 between the genes for two other important class-2 cytokines, IFNG (IFN-γ) and IL22 (IL-22). IL-26 is often co-expressed with IL-22 by activated T cells, especially Th17 cells. It signals through a heterodimeric receptor complex composed of the IL-20R1 and IL-10R2 chains. IL-26 receptors are primarily expressed on non-hematopoietic cell types, particularly epithelial cells. Signaling through IL-26 receptor complexes results in the activation of STAT1 and STAT3 with subsequent induction of IL-26-responsive genes. The biological functions of IL-26 have only begun to be defined. © 2010.