Signal molecules


The family of IL-6 cytokines has eleven members and pleiotropic functions within the body. All family members share the same signal transducing subunit GP130 (Figure 2). In the recent years, gain- and loss-of-function mutations have been discovered in different pathologies, including liver cancer. On the basis of these mutations, we’re trying to understand how GP130 signals emerge from different subcellular localisations (Figure 3 a), how they differ in signal quality and how cytokine selectivity of GP130 is achieved at a molecular level. IL-6 family cytokines can have diverse biological outcomes depending on the cell type of the receiver cell (Figure 3 b). Current mouse models were unable to dissect cell type-specific cytokine effects. By using a novel in vivo mouse model we’re now able to analyse cell type-specific effect of GP130 signals to a certain biological outcome in different pathological settings including primary tumour growth and metastasis. Based on our findings we aim to interfere with GP130 signalling in a cell type-specific manner.

The family of IL-6 cytokines

Major contributions: