The protein encoded by this gene is a cytokine that belongs to the IL10 cytokine subfamily. This cytokine is found to be preferentially expressed in monocytes. It can bind the IL20 receptor complex and lead to the activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). A similar cytokine in mouse is reported to up-regulate the expression of IL6 and TNF-alpha and induce apoptosis, which suggests a role of this cytokine in inflammatory responses. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding the distinct isoforms have been described.