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J Mol Med (Berl). 1996 Jan;74(1):1-12.

IL-6 cytokine family and signal transduction: a model of the cytokine system.

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Biomedical Research Center, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


The interleukin 6 (IL-6) cytokine family, which includes IL-6, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), oncostatin M (OSM), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), IL-11 and cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1), exhibits pleiotropy and redundancy in biological activities. The IL-6 family cytokines exhibit a helical structure. Their receptors belong to the type 1 cytokine receptor family. The receptors of the IL-6 family cytokines share a receptor subunit, which explains one of the mechanisms of functional redundancy. In this review, we describe the general features of the IL-6 cytokine family and its signal transduction mechanisms. Many functional properties of the IL-6 family of cytokines and their receptors are general features of the cytokine system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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