IMR Press / FBL / Volume 17 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.2741/4054

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
IL-6, IL-17 and STAT3: a holy trinity in auto-immunity?
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1 Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy

Academic Editor: Serge Haan

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2012, 17(6), 2306–2326;
Published: 1 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of signalling in health and disease)

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine involved in the regulation of the cross talk between haematopoietic/immune cells and stromal cells, including the onset and resolution of inflammation, responses to infection, tissue remodelling and cancer. It is produced, among others, by fibroblasts, endothelial cells, macrophages and lymphocytes. IL-6 can interact with both membrane-bound and soluble forms of its ligand-binding receptor, the IL-6Ralpha, triggering signalling via dimerization of gp130, the signalling subunit of the IL-6 receptor complex. This leads to the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway and mainly culminates in the activation of the STAT3 transcription factor. Both IL-6 and STAT3 have recently emerged as main regulators of the differentiation and function of Th17 cells, via a positive feedback loop enhancing expression and/or activation of IL-6 itself, IL-17 and STAT3. Dysregulated IL-6 production and signalling are associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, auto-immunity and cancer, and are the object of intense translational research as promising therapeutic targets.

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