|Interleukin / Interleukins|
|Cytokine & Cytokine Receptor|
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional α-helical cytokine that regulates cell growth and differentiation of various tissues, which is known particularly for its role in the immune response and acute phase reactions. IL-6 protein is secreted by a variety of cell types including T cells and macrophages as phosphorylated and variably glycosylated molecule. It exerts actions through the its heterodimeric receptor composed of IL-6R that lacks the tyrosine/kinase domain and binds IL-6 with low affinity, and ubiquitously expressed glycoprotein 130 (gp130) that binds the IL-6. IL-6R complex with high affinity and thus transduces signals. IL-6 is also involved in hematopoiesis, bone metabolism, and cancer progression, and has been defined an essential role in directing transition from innate to acquired immunity.