The Interleukin 6 (IL-6) gene encodes the classic proinflammatory cytokine IL-6. It is also known as interferon-β2 (IFN-β2), B cell stimulatory factor-2 and hybridoma/plasmacytoma growth factor. IL-6 is a multifunctional cytokine with a central role in many physiological inflammatory and immunological processes. Due to its major role in initiation as well as resolving inflammation, deregulation of IL-6 is a mainstay of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Additionally, IL-6 has been shown to be implicated in pathogenesis of many human malignancies. Thus, a better understanding of IL-6 and its role in various pathological conditions could enable the development of strategies to use it as a therapeutic target. This short review focuses on the structure, regulation and biological activities of IL-6. In addition we discuss the role of IL-6 in diseases with inflammatory background and cancer and also the therapeutic applications of anti-IL-6 agents.
- Cancer Research
- Cell Biology