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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Volume 394, Issue 9


Interleukin-6 and interleukin-11: same same but different

Christoph Garbers
  • Medical Faculty, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, Heinrich-Heine University, Universitätsstr. 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jürgen Scheller
  • Corresponding author
  • Medical Faculty, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, Heinrich-Heine University, Universitätsstr. 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-06-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2013-0166


The pleiotropic physiological functions of interleukin (IL-)6 type cytokines range from embryonic development and tissue homoeostasis to neuronal development and T cell differentiation. In contrast, imbalance of the well-controlled cytokine signaling network leads to chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. IL-6 and IL-11 both signal through a homodimer of the ubiquitously expressed β-receptor glycoprotein 130 (gp130). Specificity is gained through an individual IL-6/IL-11 α-receptor, which does not directly participate in signal transduction, although the initial cytokine binding event to the α-receptor leads to the final complex formation with the β-receptors. Both cytokines activate the same downstream signaling pathways, which are predominantly the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-cascade and the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Jak/STAT) pathway. However, recent studies have highlighted divergent roles of the two related cytokines. Here, we will discuss how the biochemical similarities are translated into unique and non-redundant functions of IL-6 and IL-11 in vivo and illustrate strategies for cytokine-specific therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: gp130; IL-11 receptor; IL-6 receptor; interleukin 11; interleukin 6; STAT3


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About the article

Christoph Garbers

Christoph Garbers received his diploma degree in Pharmacy in 2007 at the University of Kiel, Germany, and his licensure as pharmacist in 2008. He joined the group ‘Cytokine and Metalloproteinase Research’ at the Institute of Biochemistry of the University of Kiel in 2008 and obtained his Dr. rer. nat. in 2011 for the functional characterization of ADAM proteases in IL-6R shedding. He then moved to the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, and has worked since 2011 at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II as a postdoctoral research associate. His current interests are focused on limited proteolysis of cytokine receptors and signal transduction of IL-6 type cytokines.

Jürgen Scheller

Jürgen Scheller finished his diploma study of Biology in 1997 at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany and obtained his Dr. rer. nat. in 1999 for the role of MPH1 in DNA-repair of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. He joined the group ‘Phytoantibodies’ at the Leibniz-Institut IPK in Gatersleben, Germany in 1999. From 1999 to 2002 he worked on spider silk proteins from transgenic plants. In 2002 he became assistant professor at the Biochemical Institute at Christian-Albrechts-Universität of Kiel, Germany. In 2008 he became W2-Professor for ‘Cytokine Signaling’ within the Cluster of Excellence ‘Inflammation at Interfaces’ at Christian-Albrechts-Universität of Kiel, Germany. In 2010 he moved to the Heinrich-Heine-University and became the director of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II as a W3-Professor. His present interests are focused on in vitro and in vivo studies of IL-6-type cytokines.

Corresponding author: Jürgen Scheller, Medical Faculty, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, Heinrich-Heine University, Universitätsstr. 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Received: 2013-05-02

Accepted: 2013-05-30

Published Online: 2013-06-04

Published in Print: 2013-09-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, Volume 394, Issue 9, Pages 1145–1161, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2013-0166.

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Emiko Sano, Toshiaki Takei, Takuya Ueda, and Kouhei Tsumoto
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 2017, Volume 1861, Number 2, Page 205
Niloufar Monhasery, Jens Moll, Carly Cuman, Manuel Franke, Larissa Lamertz, Rebecca Nitz, Boris Görg, Dieter Häussinger, Juliane Lokau, Doreen M. Floss, Roland Piekorz, Eva Dimitriadis, Christoph Garbers, and Jürgen Scheller
Cell Reports, 2016, Volume 16, Number 4, Page 1067
Juliane Lokau, Maria Agthe, and Christoph Garbers
Mediators of Inflammation, 2016, Volume 2016, Page 1
Eugene A. Permyakov, Vladimir N. Uversky, and Sergei E. Permyakov
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2016, Volume 74, Number 3, Page 285
Manica Negahdaripour, Navid Nezafat, and Younes Ghasemi
Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews, 2016, Volume 32, Page 41
Steffen Riethmueller, Johanna C. Ehlers, Juliane Lokau, Stefan Düsterhöft, Katharina Knittler, Gregor Dombrowsky, Joachim Grötzinger, Björn Rabe, Stefan Rose-John, and Christoph Garbers
Scientific Reports, 2016, Volume 6, Number 1
Cong Zheng, Xin-Wen Zhou, and Jian-Zhi Wang
Translational Neurodegeneration, 2016, Volume 5, Number 1
Alexei S. Kazakov, Andrei S. Sokolov, Alisa A. Vologzhannikova, Maria E. Permyakova, Polina A. Khorn, Ramis G. Ismailov, Konstantin A. Denessiouk, Alexander I. Denesyuk, Victoria A. Rastrygina, Viktoriia E. Baksheeva, Evgeni Yu. Zernii, Dmitry V. Zinchenko, Vladimir V. Glazatov, Vladimir N. Uversky, Tajib A. Mirzabekov, Eugene A. Permyakov, and Sergei E. Permyakov
Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 2017, Volume 35, Number 1, Page 78
Boel De Paepe and Jana Zschüntzsch
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2015, Volume 16, Number 8, Page 18683
Juliane Lokau, Rebecca Nitz, Maria Agthe, Niloufar Monhasery, Samadhi Aparicio-Siegmund, Neele Schumacher, Janina Wolf, Katja Möller-Hackbarth, Georg H. Waetzig, Joachim Grötzinger, Gerhard Müller-Newen, Stefan Rose-John, Jürgen Scheller, and Christoph Garbers
Cell Reports, 2016, Volume 14, Number 7, Page 1761
M. van de Vyver, C. Niesler, K.H. Myburgh, and W.F. Ferris
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2016, Volume 426, Page 1
Dixon H. Xu, Ziwen Zhu, Mark R. Wakefield, Huaping Xiao, Qian Bai, and Yujiang Fang
Cancer Letters, 2016, Volume 373, Number 2, Page 156
Janina Wolf, Georg H. Waetzig, Torsten M. Reinheimer, Jürgen Scheller, Stefan Rose-John, and Christoph Garbers
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2016, Volume 470, Number 4, Page 870
Rebecca Nitz, Juliane Lokau, Samadhi Aparicio-Siegmund, Jürgen Scheller, and Christoph Garbers
Biochimie, 2015, Volume 119, Page 175
Aida Habtezion
Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 2015, Volume 31, Number 5, Page 395
Kris Janssens, Helena Slaets, and Niels Hellings
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2015, Volume 1351, Number 1, Page 52
Chenfei Zhou, Jun Ji, Qu Cai, Min Shi, Xuehua Chen, Yingyan Yu, Zhenggang Zhu, and Jun Zhang
BMC Cancer, 2015, Volume 15, Number 1
Tracy L Putoczki and Matthias Ernst
Immunotherapy, 2015, Volume 7, Number 4, Page 441
Jürgen Scheller, Christoph Garbers, and Stefan Rose-John
Seminars in Immunology, 2014, Volume 26, Number 1, Page 2
Christoph Garbers and Stefan Rose-John
Journal of Proteome Research, 2015, Volume 14, Number 2, Page 1330
Tracy L. Putoczki, Renwick C. J. Dobson, and Michael D. W. Griffin
Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography, 2014, Volume 70, Number 9, Page 2277
Chuanli Ren, Yong Chen, Chongxu Han, Deyuan Fu, and Hui Chen
Tumor Biology, 2014, Volume 35, Number 11, Page 11467
Janina Wolf, Stefan Rose-John, and Christoph Garbers
Cytokine, 2014, Volume 70, Number 1, Page 11
Christoph Garbers, Niloufar Monhasery, Samadhi Aparicio-Siegmund, Juliane Lokau, Paul Baran, Mari A. Nowell, Simon A. Jones, Stefan Rose-John, and Jürgen Scheller
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease, 2014, Volume 1842, Number 9, Page 1485
Koji Taniguchi and Michael Karin
Seminars in Immunology, 2014, Volume 26, Number 1, Page 54
Rebecca C Robey, Salvinia Mletzko, Charlotte Colley, Kirsty Balachandran, and Mark Bower
Immunotherapy, 2014, Volume 6, Number 2, Page 211
Christoph Garbers, Fabian Kuck, Samadhi Aparicio-Siegmund, Kirstin Konzak, Mareike Kessenbrock, Annika Sommerfeld, Dieter Häussinger, Philipp Lang, Dirk Brenner, Tak Wah Mak, Stefan Rose-John, Frank Essmann, Klaus Schulze-Osthoff, Roland Piekorz, and Jürgen Scheller
Cell Cycle, 2013, Volume 12, Number 21, Page 3421
Shili Xu and Nouri Neamati
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 2013, Volume 17, Number 11, Page 1303

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