This gene encodes a hematopoeitin/interferon-class receptor belonging to the cytokine superfamily of receptors. The encoded gene product represents the CNTF-specific alpha subunit of a heterotrimer forming the CNTF receptor complex, which also includes LIFR and gp130. The receptor is attached to the membrane by a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol linkage and contains an immunoglobulin-like C2-type domain and a fibronectin type-III domain. Signal transduction requires that CNTF bind first to this alpha component, which permits the recruitment of gp130 and LIFR beta to form the tripartite receptor complex. Signal transduction stimulates gene expression, cell survival or differentiation in a variety of neuronal cell types. Alternative splicing has been observed at this locus and two variants, both encoding the same protein, have been identified.
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