The role of IL-11 in immunity and cancer

Cancer Lett. 2016 Apr 10;373(2):156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.01.004. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a member of the glycoprotein-130 (GP-130) cytokines that utilizes the GP-130 signaling pathway shared by other cytokines of the same family. Traditionally regarded as an anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-11 also demonstrates its role as a proinflammatory cytokine, suggesting its complex role in immune response. In recent years, IL-11 has an emerging role in various inflammation-associated cancers. In this review, we aim to discuss IL-11 signaling pathway, to explore the role of IL-11 in immunity and various cancers, and to provide a therapeutic perspective of strategies utilized to interfere IL-11 signaling in cancer cells.

Keywords: Cancer; Cytokine; IL-11; Immune response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Interleukin-11 / physiology*
  • Interleukin-3 / physiology
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Multiprotein Complexes / physiology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / physiology
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology


  • Interleukin-11
  • Interleukin-3
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases