LIF signaling in stem cells and development

Development. 2015 Jul 1;142(13):2230-6. doi: 10.1242/dev.117598.


Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a member of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine family. All members of this family activate signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a transcription factor that influences stem and progenitor cell identity, proliferation and cytoprotection. The role of LIF in development was first identified when LIF was demonstrated to support the propagation of mouse embryonic stem cells. Subsequent studies of mice deficient for components of the LIF pathway have revealed important roles for LIF signaling during development and homeostasis. Here and in the accompanying poster, we provide a broad overview of JAK-STAT signaling during development, with a specific focus on LIF-mediated JAK-STAT3 activation.

Keywords: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine; Leukemia inhibitory factor; STAT3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinases / metabolism
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor / metabolism*
  • STAT Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • STAT Transcription Factors
  • Janus Kinases