The delicate balance of immune homeostasis is regulated by the interactions between cytokines and their cognate cell surface signaling receptors. There is intensive interest in harnessing cytokines as drugs for diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. However, the multifarious and often contradictory activities of cytokines, coupled with their short serum half-lives, limit clinical performance and result in dangerous toxicities. There is thus growing emphasis on manipulating natural cytokines to enhance their selectivity, safety, and durability through various strategies. One strategy that has gained traction in recent years is the development of anticytokine Abs that not only extend the circulation half-life of cytokines but also specifically bias their immune activities through multilayered molecular mechanisms. Although Abs are notorious for their antagonistic activities, this review focuses on anticytokine Abs that selectively agonize the activity of the target protein. This approach has potential to help realize the clinical promise of cytokine-based therapies.

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