The protein encoded by this gene is a type I transmembrane protein identified as a subunit of the interleukin 12 receptor complex. The coexpression of this and IL12RB1 proteins was shown to lead to the formation of high-affinity IL12 binding sites and reconstitution of IL12 dependent signaling. The expression of this gene is up-regulated by interferon gamma in Th1 cells, and plays a role in Th1 cell differentiation. The up-regulation of this gene is found to be associated with a number of infectious diseases, such as Crohn's disease and leprosy, which is thought to contribute to the inflammatory response and host defense. Several transcript variants encoding different isoforms and non-protein coding transcripts have been found for this gene.