My watch list  

Interleukin 1

Interleukin 1, alpha
PDB rendering based on 2ila.
Available structures: 2ila
Symbol(s) IL1A; IL-1A; IL1; IL1-ALPHA; IL1F1
External IDs OMIM: 147760 MGI: 96542 Homologene: 480
RNA expression pattern

More reference expression data

Human Mouse
Entrez 3552 16175
Ensembl ENSG00000115008 ENSMUSG00000027399
Uniprot P01583 Q3U0Y6
Refseq NM_000575 (mRNA)
NP_000566 (protein)
NM_010554 (mRNA)
NP_034684 (protein)
Location Chr 2: 113.25 - 113.26 Mb Chr 2: 128.99 - 129 Mb
Pubmed search [1] [2]
Crystal structure of IL-1b
Interleukin 1 beta
Symbol IL1B
Alt. Symbols , IL1F2
Entrez 3553
HUGO 5992
OMIM 147720
RefSeq NM_000576
UniProt P01584
Other data
Locus Chr. 2 q13-q21
Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is one of the first cytokines ever described. Its initial discovery was as a factor that could induce fever, control lymphocytes, increase the number of bone marrow cells and cause degeneration of bone joints. At this time, IL-1 was known under several other names including endogenous pyrogen, lymphocyte activating factor, haemopoetin-1 and mononuclear cell factor, amongst others. It was around 1984-1985 when scientists confirmed that IL-1 was actually composed of two distinct proteins, now called IL-1α and IL-1β.[1] These belong to a family of cytokines known as the interleukin-1 superfamily.


The Interleukin-1 superfamily

The original members of the IL-1 superfamily are IL-1α, IL-1β, and the IL-1 Receptor antagonist (IL-1RA).

  • IL-1α and -β are pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in immune defence against infection.
  • The IL-1RA is a molecule that competes for receptor binding with IL-1α and IL-1β, blocking their role in immune activation.

Recent years have seen the addition of other molecules to the IL-1 superfamily including IL-18[2] and six more genes with structural homology to IL-1α, IL-1β or IL-1RA. These latter six members are named IL1F5, IL1F6, IL1F7, IL1F8, IL1F9, and IL1F10. In accord, IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-1RA have been renamed IL-1F1, IL-1F2, and IL-1F3, respectively.[3][4]

A further putative member of the IL-1 family has been recently described that is called IL-33 or IL-1F11, although this name is not officially accepted in the HGNC gene family nomenclature database.[5]

IL-1α and IL-1β

Both IL-1α and IL-1β are produced by macrophages, monocytes and dendritic cells. They form an important part of the inflammatory response of the body against infection. These cytokines increase the expression of adhesion factors on endothelial cells to enable transmigration of leukocytes, the cells that fight pathogens, to sites of infection and re-set the hypothalamus thermoregulatory center, leading to an increased body temperature which expresses itself as fever. IL-1 is therefore called an endogenous pyrogen. The increased body temperature helps the body's immune system to fight infection. IL-1 is also important in the regulation of hematopoiesis. IL-1β production in peripheral tissue has also been associated with hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain) associated with fever.[6]

For the most part, these two forms of IL-1 bind to the same cellular receptor. This receptor is composed of two related, but non-identical, subunits that transmit intracellular signals via a pathway that is mostly shared with certain other receptors. These include the Toll family of innate immune receptors and the receptor for IL-18.

IL-1α is a pleiotropic cytokine involved in various immune responses, inflammatory processes, and hematopoiesis. This cytokine is produced by many cell types but is only secreted by monocytes and macrophages. It is produced as a proprotein, which is proteolytically processed by calpain and released in a mechanism that is still not well studied. This gene and eight other interleukin 1 family genes form a cytokine gene cluster on chromosome 2. It has been suggested that the polymorphism of these genes is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's disease.

Structure of the IL-1 superfamily

IL-1α and IL-1β are produced as precursor peptides. In other words they are made as a long protein that is then processed to release a shorter, active molecule, which is called the mature protein. Mature IL-1β, for instance, is released from Pro-IL-1β following cleavage by a certain member of the caspase family of proteins, called caspase-1 or the interleukin-1 converting enzyme (ICE). The 3-dimensional structure of the mature forms of each member of the human IL-1 superfamily is composed of 12-14 β-strands producing a barrel-shaped protein.[1]


  1. ^ a b C.A. Dinarello. The interleukin-1 family: 10 years of discovery. FASEB Journal. Volume 8, Issue 15, 1994, pages 1314-25.
  2. ^ M.O. Huising et al., The molecular evolution of the interleukin-1 family of cytokines; IL-18 in teleost fish, Developmental and Comparative Immunology, Volume 28, Issue 5, 2004, pages 395-413.
  3. ^ J.E. Sims et al., A new nomenclature for IL-1-family genes. Trends in Immunology, Volume 22, Issue 10, 2001, 536-7.
  4. ^ E. Dunn et al., Annotating genes with potential roles in the immune system: six new members of the IL-1 family. Trends in Immunology, Volume 22, Issue 10, 2001, 533-6.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Morgan MM, Clayton CC, Heinricher MM. Dissociation of hyperalgesia from fever following intracerebroventricular administration of interleukin-1beta in the rat. Brain Res. 2004 Oct 1;1022(1-2):96-100. PMID: 15353218

Further reading

  • Verweij CL, Bayley JP, Bakker A, Kaijzel EL (2002). "Allele specific regulation of cytokine genes: monoallelic expression of the IL-1A gene.". Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 495: 129-39. PMID 11774556.
  • Griffin WS, Mrak RE (2002). "Interleukin-1 in the genesis and progression of and risk for development of neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease.". J. Leukoc. Biol. 72 (2): 233-8. PMID 12149413.
  • Arend WP (2003). "The balance between IL-1 and IL-1Ra in disease.". Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 13 (4-5): 323-40. PMID 12220547.
  • Copeland KF (2006). "Modulation of HIV-1 transcription by cytokines and chemokines.". Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 5 (12): 1093-101. PMID 16375755.
  • Schmidt DR, Kao WJ (2007). "The interrelated role of fibronectin and interleukin-1 in biomaterial-modulated macrophage function.". Biomaterials 28 (3): 371-82. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.08.041. PMID 16978691.
  • Huynh-Ba G, Lang NP, Tonetti MS, Salvi GE (2007). "The association of the composite IL-1 genotype with periodontitis progression and/or treatment outcomes: a systematic review.". J. Clin. Periodontol. 34 (4): 305-17. doi:10.1111/j.1600-051X.2007.01055.x. PMID 17378887.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Interleukin_1". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE