Overview of Interleukins

Since the discovery of IL-1 in 1977, approximately 200,000 published articles have referred to ILs. The name “interleukin” was chosen in 1979, to replace the various different names used by different research groups to designate interleukin 1 (lymphocyte activating factor, mitogenic protein, T-cell replacing factor III, B-cell activating factor, B-cell differentiation factor, “Heidikine”).Secreted proteins that bind to their specific receptors and play a role in the communication among leukocytes are named ILs. ILs are assigned to each family based on sequence homology and receptor chain similarities or functional properties. Usually, ILs contain the following families:

IL-1 Family
IL-6 Family
IL-10 Family
IL-12 Family
IL-17 Family
Other Interleukins

 

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