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Interleukin 4

Crystal structure of human IL-4 (2INT)
Available structures
1bbn, 1bcn, 1cyl, 1hij, 1hik, 1hzi, 1iar, 1iti, 1itl, 1itm, 1rcb, 2b8u, 2b8x, 2b8y, 2b8z, 2b90, 2b91, 2cyk, 2d48, 2int
Symbols IL4; BSF1; IL-4; MGC79402
External IDs OMIM147780 MGI96556 HomoloGene491 GeneCards: IL4 Gene
RNA expression pattern
PBB GE IL4 207539 s at tn.png
PBB GE IL4 207538 at tn.png
More reference expression data
Species Human Mouse
Entrez 3565 16189
Ensembl ENSG00000113520 ENSMUSG00000000869
UniProt P05112 Q5SV00
RefSeq (mRNA) NM_000589 NM_021283
RefSeq (protein) NP_000580 NP_067258
Location (UCSC) Chr 5:
132.04 - 132.05 Mb
Chr 11:
53.46 - 53.46 Mb
PubMed search [2] [3]

Interleukin-4, abbreviated IL-4, is a cytokine that induces differentiation of naive helper T cells (Th0 cells) to Th2 cells. Upon activation by IL-4, Th2 cells subsequently produce additional IL-4. The cell that initially produces IL-4, thus inducing Th0 differentiation, has not been identified, but recent studies (2009) suggest that basophils may be the effector cell.

Its receptor is the Interleukin-4 receptor.



It has many biological roles, including the stimulation of activated B-cell and T-cell proliferation, and the differentiation of CD4+ T-cells into Th2 cells.

It is a key regulator in humoral and adaptive immunity.

IL-4 induces B-cell class switching to IgE, and up-regulates MHC class II production.

Overproduction of IL-4 is associated with allergies.[1]


This cytokine was co-discovered by Maureen Howard and William Paul[2] and by Dr. Ellen Vitetta and her research group in 1982.

The nucleotide sequence for human IL-4 was isolated four years later confirming its similarity to a mouse protein called B-cell stimulatory factor-1 (BCSF-1).[3]

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Howard M, Paul WE (1982). "Interleukins for B lymphocytes". Lymphokine Res. 1 (1): 1–4. PMID 6985399.  
  3. ^ Yokota T et al. (1986). "Isolation and characterization of a human interleukin cDNA clone, homologous to mouse B-cell stimulatory factor 1, that expresses B-cell- and T-cell-stimulating activities". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83 (16): 5894–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.83.16.5894. PMID 3016727.  

Further reading

  • Kay AB, Barata L, Meng Q, et al. (1997). "Eosinophils and eosinophil-associated cytokines in allergic inflammation.". Int. Arch. Allergy Immunol. 113 (1-3): 196–9. PMID 9130521.  
  • Marone G, Florio G, Petraroli A, de Paulis A (2001). "Dysregulation of the IgE/Fc epsilon RI network in HIV-1 infection.". J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 107 (1): 22–30. doi:10.1067/mai.2001.111589. PMID 11149986.  
  • Marone G, Florio G, Triggiani M, et al. (2001). "Mechanisms of IgE elevation in HIV-1 infection.". Crit. Rev. Immunol. 20 (6): 477–96. PMID 11396683.  
  • Maeda S, Yanagihara Y (2001). "[Inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13)]". Nippon Rinsho 59 (10): 1894–9. PMID 11676128.  
  • Izuhara K, Arima K, Yasunaga S (2003). "IL-4 and IL-13: their pathological roles in allergic diseases and their potential in developing new therapies.". Current drug targets. Inflammation and allergy 1 (3): 263–9. doi:10.2174/1568010023344661. PMID 14561191.  
  • Copeland KF (2006). "Modulation of HIV-1 transcription by cytokines and chemokines.". Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 5 (12): 1093–101. doi:10.2174/138955705774933383. PMID 16375755.  
  • Olver S, Apte S, Baz A, Kienzle N (2007). "The duplicitous effects of interleukin 4 on tumour immunity: how can the same cytokine improve or impair control of tumour growth?". Tissue Antigens 69 (4): 293–8. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0039.2007.00831.x. PMID 17389011.  
  • Sokol CL, Chu NQ, Shuang Yu, Simone Nish, Terri Laufer & Ruslan Medzhitov (2009). "Basophils function as antigen-presenting cells for an allergen-induced T helper type 2 response". Nature Immunology 10: 713-720. doi:10.1038/ni.1738. PMID 19465907.  


External links



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