Small proteins (in the range of 5-20 kD) released by cells and that affect the behaviour of other cells. Not really different from hormones, but the term tends to be used as a convenient generic shorthand for interleukins, lymphokines and several related signalling molecules such as TNF and interferons. Generally growth factors would not be classified as cytokines, though TGF is an exception. Rather an imprecise term, though in very common usage. Chemokines are a subset of cytokines.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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