IL-6

IL-6

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is an alpha-helical cytokine with a wide variety of biological functions, including inducement of acute phase reactions, inflammation, hematopoiesis, bone metabolism, and cancer progression. It is secreted by multiple cell types as a 22k-28k dalton phosphorylated and variably glycosylated molecule. Mature human IL-6 is 183 amino acids (aa) in length and shares 41% aa sequence identity with mouse and rat IL-6. IL-6 is secreted by T cells and macrophages to induce immune responses following tissue trauma leading to inflammation. IL-6 also acts as an anti-inflammatory myokine, secreted by muscles during contraction after which it acts to increase breakdown of fats and improve insulin resistance. Because of its role in inducing inflammation and auto-immune response, there is interest in developing anti-IL-6 agents as potential therapies against various diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.