Molecular pathways: IL11 as a tumor-promoting cytokine-translational implications for cancers Academic Article uri icon


  • Emerging evidence suggests that cytokines produced by inflammatory cells act as rheostats to link the degree of wounding and local inflammation to epithelial cell survival, proliferation, and metabolism that collectively underpin the repair response. Among these cytokines, the GP130 family, which encompasses, among others, IL6 and IL11, plays a major role in orchestrating these complex processes through the activation of the latent signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in the epithelium. However, many of the molecular mechanisms that govern and ensure effective epithelial wound healing and regeneration renewal also promote tumorigenesis and the progression of established cancers. Accordingly, GP130 cytokines endow the inflammatory tumor microenvironment with a capacity to promote "cancer hallmark capabilities" of the malignant epithelium, while simultaneously suppressing the antitumor response of innate and adaptive immune cells. Here, we review some recent insights derived from genetic and therapeutic inhibition of the IL6/IL11-GP130-STAT3 signaling cascade in the context of preclinical mouse models of cancer, which are likely to have implications to other solid malignancies.

publication date

  • 2014