The present invention describes the cloning and molecular and cellular characterization of a novel protein with homology to the IL-17 receptor. The gene was cloned by virtue of its proximity to a common site of retroviral integration in a murine acute myeloid leukemia. The gene described herein possibly codes for a novel interleukin receptor that binds an as yet unidentified cytokine ligand, and may be useful in cancer diagnostics and therapies that rely on immune system modulation.
1. A method of inhibiting the biological activity of an IL-17 receptor-related protein, Evi27, in a cell expressing the Evi27 on the cell surface, comprising contacting the cell with a soluble isoform of the Evi27 protein encoded by the nucleic acid of SEQ ID NO:3, in the presence of Evi27 ligand (IL-17E), wherein said soluble protein is about 33 or 56 kD in size as detected by western blot analysis of BXH2 leukemia cells, and said soluble protein binds to Evi27 ligand thereby decreasing the biological activity of the Evi27.