The protein encoded by this gene is a cytokine that acts as a regulator of a variety of hematopoietic cells. This cytokine stimulates cell proliferation and prevents apoptosis. It functions through the interleukin 9 receptor (IL9R), which activates different signal transducer and activator (STAT) proteins and thus connects this cytokine to various biological processes. The gene encoding this cytokine has been identified as a candidate gene for asthma. Genetic studies on a mouse model of asthma demonstrated that this cytokine is a determining factor in the pathogenesis of bronchial hyperresponsiveness.
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