Interleukin Background

What are Interleukins
Interleukins are a type of cytokines that were first seen to be expressed by leukocytes. The term 'interleukin' was first coined in 1979 in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Immunology to describe a number of secreted molecules produced by leukocytes, a variety of polypeptides that act specifically as mediators between leucocytes. Learn More.

IL-1 / Interleukin 1 & Receptor
Interleukin 1 (IL-1) is a type of interleukins, one of the first cytokines discovered in the 1980s.Interleukin (IL)-1 is a potent proinflammatory cytokine capable of triggering multiple physiological processes such as activation of lymphocytes, induction of acute-phase hepatic proteins, infiltration of leukocytes at sites of infection, fever and anorexia, clearly indicating that this cytokine is critical for innate immune response. Learn More.

IL-2 / Interleukin 2 & Receptor
Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is a type of interleukin that induces the proliferation of responsive T-cells. In addition, it acts on some B-cells, via receptor-specific binding, as a growth factor and antibody production stimulant. Interleukin 2 is the only drug approved in the US for the treatment of metastatic RCC. It is also approved in many other countries. But Interleukin 2 isn't just a drug. IL-2 is a natural part of your immune system, a messenger protein called a cytokine which activates parts of your immune system. IL-2 does not kill tumor cells directly like classical chemotherapy. Instead, IL-2 activates and stimulates the growth of immune cells, most importantly T-Cells, but also Natural Killer Cells (NK Cells), both of which are capable of destroying cancer cells directly. Learn More.

IL-6 / Interleukin 6 & Receptor
IL-6 / Interleukin 6, a type of interleukins, is a multifunctional cytokine that affects virtually every organ system, most notably the immune system. IL-6 / Interleukin 6 is a potent and essential factor for the normal development and function of both T and B lymphocytes1 and has broad actions on cells of the hematopoietic system. IL-6 / Interleukin 6 also up-regulates the multidrug resistance 1 (MDR-1) gene through activation of NF-IL6, which, in turn, transactivates the MDR-1 gene through a Y-box motif. IL-6 is also a central regulator of the acute-phase response in the liver and regulates fever. Human diseases that involve prolonged inflammation frequently exhibit cachexia and loss of muscle mass, and IL-6 appears to be the mediator of these processes as well. Learn More.

IL-10 / Interleukin 10 & Receptor
IL-10 / Interleukin 10, a type of interleukins, is a type Ⅱcytokine and the 'founding' member of a family of cytokines that include IL-19, IL-20, IL-22, IL-24, IL-26, IL-28, and IL-29. All of these cytokines have similar intron–exon genomic organization, bind to receptors with similar structures and in some cases shared components, and all activate Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathways. Despite these commonalities, the cytokines in this family have very different biological activities, which are largely determined by the cells producing the cytokine, the cells responding to them, and the immune environment in which they are released. The four major T-cell sources of IL-10 are T-helper type 2 (Th2) cells, subsets of regulatory T cells designated Tr1, Th1, and Th17 cells. CD8+ T cells also produce IL-10. Learn More.

IL-12 / Interleukin 12 & Receptor
IL-12 / Interleukin 12, a type of interleukins, is a heterodimeric protein, first recovered from EBV-transformed B cell lines. IL-12 is composed of a bundle of four alpha helices. It is a is a multifunctional cytokine, the properties of which bridge innate and adaptive immunity, acting as a key regulator of cell-mediated immune responses through the induction of T helper 1 differentiation. By promoting IFN-γ production, proliferation, and cytolytic activity of natural killer and T cells, IL-12 induces cellular immunity. In addition, IL-12 induces an antiangiogenic program mediated by IFN-γ–inducible genes and by lymphocyte-endothelial cell cross-talk. The immunomodulating and antiangiogenic functions of IL-12 have provided the rationale for exploiting this cytokine as an anticancer agent. Newly identified IL-12 family members (IL-23 and IL-27), should be evaluated as therapeutic agents with considerable potential in cancer patients. Learn More.

IL-17 / Interleukin 17 & Receptor
Interleukin 17 (IL-17) family, a type of interleukins, is a recently identified group of cytokines sharing homology in amino acid sequences with highly conserved cysteine residues critical to their 3-dimensional shape. To date, there are six IL-17 family ligands [IL-17A, IL-17B, IL-17C, IL-17D, IL-17E (IL-25) and IL-17F], and five receptors (IL-17RA, IL-17RB/IL-25R, IL-17RC, IL-17RD/SEF and IL-17RE). Interleukin-17A (hereafter referred to as IL-17) is the most intensively studied, but interest in the rest of the family is growing. Originally IL-17 was thought to be produced exclusively by T cells, but it is now known to be secreted by a variety of innate cells including macrophages, dendritic cells (DC), natural killer, natural killer T, lymphoid tissue inducer and γδ-T cells. Learn More.

Interleukin References
  1. Gibeon D, et al. (2012) Targeting interleukins to treat severe asthma. Expert Rev Respir Med. 6(4):423-39.
  2. Thomas A, et al. (2006) The biology of interleukin-2 and interleukin-15: implications for cancer therapy and vaccine design. Nature Reviews Immunology 6, 595-601.
  3. Stuart M, et al. (2005) Interleukin-1 and neuronal injury. Nature Reviews Immunology 5, 629-640.
  4. C. M. Hawrylowicz, et al. (2005) Potential role of interleukin-10-secreting regulatory T cells in allergy and asthma. Nature Reviews Immunology 5, 271-283.
  5. Stanislas G, et al. (2008) How microorganisms tip the balance between interleukin-12 family members. Nature Reviews Immunology 8, 81-86.
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