IL-1 family cytokines in cancer immunity - a matter of life and death

Biol Chem. 2016 Nov 1;397(11):1125-1134. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2016-0215.


IL-1 cytokines constitute a family of biologically active proteins with pleiotropic function especially in immunity. Both protective as well as deleterious properties of individual IL-1 family cytokines in tumor biology have been described. The function of IL-1-family cytokines depends on the producing source, the present (inflammatory) microenvironment and N-terminal proteolytical processing. Each of these determinants is shaped by different modes of cell death. Here we summarize the properties of IL-1 family cytokines in tumor biology, and how they are modulated by cell death.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology


  • Interleukin-1