Interleukin-21 (IL-21) is produced by activated T cells and it plays many diverse roles by regulating the functions of normal and abnormal cells. Its roles include regulation of proliferation, promotion of immune system and activation of apoptosis in B cells. IL-21R is a type-1 cytokine receptor and belongs to the IL-2R and IL-15R family. The signaling mechanisms of IL-21 in different cell types have been identified. However, we know less about the biological effects of IL-21 and its signaling mechanisms in leukemia cells and monocytes. In this chapter, we will focus on IL-21’s biological effects and signaling pathways as well as discuss the potential implications and applications of IL-21 in leukemia cells. In these cells, IL-21 does not promote proliferation but enhances apoptosis and chemotaxis. Furthermore, IL-21 promotes differential expression of many cytokines including interleukins and chemokines. IL-21 activates both the Raf-ERK-MAPK and the Jak/STAT signaling pathways. These pathways mediate some of the effects of IL-21. Lastly, IL-21 also promotes activation of the STAT3 promoter and other transcriptional factors. These findings may be relevant to IL-21’s potential clinical implications and applications.
Part of the book: Cytokines
Human Interlekin-17 is produced by memory activated CD4+ T cells and other cells. It was initially considered unique in that its specific receptor is distinct from other cytokine receptors. IL-17 receptor is ubiquitously expressed by different cells including T cells. IL-17 plays a role in regulating growth, immune response and pro-inflammatory responses. It regulates differentiation of a subset of Th0 cells into Th-17 cells, which produce IL-17-induced cytokines. The IL-17R belongs to type 1 cytokine receptors. IL-17 belongs to a superfamily of its own, which includes IL-17A, IL-17B, IL-17C, IL-17E and IL-17F. These members of IL-17 superfamily have some sequence homology but bind to different receptors. Prior to this investigation, limited information existed on the effects of IL-17A in human leukemia cell lines. Our results show that IL-17A promotes growth, anti-apoptotic effects, chemotaxis, cytokine expression and transcriptional factor activation in leukemia cells. IL-17A activates multiple signaling pathways including PI-3 K, Jak–STAT, Raf-ERK1/2 and SRC kinase pathways, which mediate different biological effects of IL-17A in leukemia cells. Our findings implicate IL-17A in leukemia cell growth and survival, supporting potential leukemia therapy via development of anti-IL-17A drugs. This chapter focuses on IL-17A, herein referred to as IL-17.
Part of the book: Interleukins