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Interleukin 4

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
Symbol(s) IL4; BSF1; IL-4; MGC79402
External IDs OMIM: 147780 MGI: 96556 Homologene: 491
RNA expression pattern

More reference expression data

Human Mouse
Entrez 3565 16189
Ensembl ENSG00000113520 ENSMUSG00000000869
Uniprot P05112 Q5SV00
Refseq NM_000589 (mRNA)
NP_000580 (protein)
NM_021283 (mRNA)
NP_067258 (protein)
Location Chr 5: 132.04 - 132.05 Mb Chr 11: 53.46 - 53.46 Mb
Pubmed search [1] [2]

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.



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.


This cytokine was co-discovered by Maureen Howard and William Paul[1] 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).[2]

See also


  1. ^ Howard M, Paul WE (1982). "Interleukins for B lymphocytes". Lymphokine Res. 1 (1): 1-4. PMID 6985399.
  2. ^ 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. 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. 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. PMID 14561191.
  • Copeland KF (2006). "Modulation of HIV-1 transcription by cytokines and chemokines.". Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 5 (12): 1093-101. 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.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Interleukin_4". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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