Gene Summary

Gene:IL6R; interleukin 6 receptor
Aliases: IL6Q, gp80, CD126, IL6RA, IL6RQ, IL-6RA, IL-6R-1
Summary:This gene encodes a subunit of the interleukin 6 (IL6) receptor complex. Interleukin 6 is a potent pleiotropic cytokine that regulates cell growth and differentiation and plays an important role in the immune response. The IL6 receptor is a protein complex consisting of this protein and interleukin 6 signal transducer (IL6ST/GP130/IL6-beta), a receptor subunit also shared by many other cytokines. Dysregulated production of IL6 and this receptor are implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, such as multiple myeloma, autoimmune diseases and prostate cancer. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been reported. A pseudogene of this gene is found on chromosome 9.[provided by RefSeq, May 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interleukin-6 receptor subunit alpha
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: IL6R (cancer-related)

Simondurairaj C, Krishnakumar R, Sundaram S, Venkatraman G
Interleukin-6 Receptor (IL-6R) Expression in Human Gastric Carcinoma and its Clinical Significance.
Cancer Invest. 2019; 37(7):293-298 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study is to analyse the expression of Interleukin-6 receptor in different human gastric tissue and to correlate with the clinicopathological features of the patients. Immunohistochemistry was done against the IL-6R antibody and the Q-score was calculated from the staining pattern. Higher Q-scores were observed in tumour cells than the adjacent normal cells which were statistically significant. We also observed a significant correlation between the expressions of IL-6R and the clinicopathological features These findings suggest that IL-6R may represent as a therapeutic target for gastric carcinoma and serve as a prognostic indicator, as well.

Antunes DM, Rodrigues MFSD, Guimarães DM, et al.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs Modulate Gene Expression of Inflammatory Mediators in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2385-2394 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Most patients with head and neck cancer receive nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs concomitant with oncogenic treatment in order to control cardiovascular diseases and chronic inflammatory processes. Inflammation is closely related to neoplastic development and the release of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines represents a crucial event in this relationship. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and celecoxib treatment in the gene expression pattern of cytokines and chemokines in squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cells were treated with plasmatic concentrations of ASA and celecoxib and were submitted to cell viability assay and immunoenzymatic assay to investigate interleukin 6 (IL6) production. Treated cells were collected and a gene expression array was performed using the reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: Both treatments provoked a discrete inhibitory effect on cell viability and modulated IL6 production. The mRNA expression of several cytokines, chemokines, chemokine receptors, and other chemotaxis-related genes were modulated after treatment with ASA and celecoxib.
CONCLUSION: Plasmatic doses of ASA and celecoxib altered the expression of IL6 and the gene expression of chemokines (ligands and receptors) and cytokines in a dose- and time-dependent manner.

Weng YS, Tseng HY, Chen YA, et al.
MCT-1/miR-34a/IL-6/IL-6R signaling axis promotes EMT progression, cancer stemness and M2 macrophage polarization in triple-negative breast cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a poor prognostic breast cancer with the highest mutations and limited therapeutic choices. Cytokine networking between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME) maintains the self-renewing subpopulation of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) that mediate tumor heterogeneity, resistance and recurrence. Immunotherapy of those factors combined with targeted therapy or chemoagents may advantage TNBC treatment.
RESULTS: We found that the oncogene Multiple Copies in T-cell Malignancy 1 (MCT-1/MCTS1) expression is a new poor-prognosis marker in patients with aggressive breast cancers. Overexpressing MCT-1 perturbed the oncogenic breast epithelial acini morphogenesis and stimulated epithelial-mesenchymal transition and matrix metalloproteinase activation in invasive TNBC cells, which were repressed after MCT-1 gene silencing. As mammary tumor progression was promoted by oncogenic MCT-1 activation, tumor-promoting M2 macrophages were enriched in TME, whereas M2 macrophages were decreased and tumor-suppressive M1 macrophages were increased as the tumor was repressed via MCT-1 knockdown. MCT-1 stimulated interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion that promoted monocytic THP-1 polarization into M2-like macrophages to increase TNBC cell invasiveness. In addition, MCT-1 elevated the soluble IL-6 receptor levels, and thus, IL-6R antibodies antagonized the effect of MCT-1 on promoting M2-like polarization and cancer cell invasion. Notably, MCT-1 increased the features of BCSCs, which were further advanced by IL-6 but prevented by tocilizumab, a humanized IL-6R antibody, thus MCT-1 knockdown and tocilizumab synergistically inhibited TNBC stemness. Tumor suppressor miR-34a was induced upon MCT-1 knockdown that inhibited IL-6R expression and activated M1 polarization.
CONCLUSIONS: The MCT-1 pathway is a novel and promising therapeutic target for TNBC.

Wei Y, Lao XM, Xiao X, et al.
Plasma Cell Polarization to the Immunoglobulin G Phenotype in Hepatocellular Carcinomas Involves Epigenetic Alterations and Promotes Hepatoma Progression in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 156(6):1890-1904.e16 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Little is known about the composition and generation of plasma cell subsets in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and how these associate with outcomes. We investigated whether, or how, plasma cells differentiate and function in patients with HCC and mice with liver tumors.
METHODS: We analyzed subset composition and distribution of plasma cells in HCC samples from 342 patients who underwent curative resection at the Cancer Center of Sun Yat-sen University in China; samples of non-tumor liver tissue were used as controls. We associated plasma cell profiles with patient outcomes. Tissue-derived leukocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The ability of macrophages to regulate plasma cell differentiation was determined in ex vivo cultures of cells from human HCC tissues. C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice were given injections of Hepa1-6 cells, which formed hepatomas, or H22 cells, which formed ascitic hepatomas. Gene expression patterns were analyzed in human HCC, mouse hepatoma, and non-tumor tissues by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Mice with hepatomas were given injections of GSK126 (an inhibitor of histone H3 lysine 27 methyltransferase [EZH2]) and 5-AZA-dC (an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferases); tumor tissues were analyzed by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry for the presence of immune cells and cytokines.
RESULTS: B cells isolated from HCCs had somatic hypermutations and class-switch recombinations to the IgG phenotype that were not observed in non-tumor tissues. Increased level of plasma cells correlated with poor outcomes of patients. Activated CD4
CONCLUSIONS: Human HCC tissues contain B cells with class-switch recombinations to the IgG phenotype. Activated CD4

Yang L, Lin S, Kang Y, et al.
Rhein sensitizes human pancreatic cancer cells to EGFR inhibitors by inhibiting STAT3 pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rhein is a lipophilic anthraquinone extensively found in medicinal herbs. Emerging evidence suggests that rhein has significant antitumor effects, supporting its potential use as an antitumor agent. The IL6/STAT3 signaling pathway has been suggested as an attractive target for the discovery of novel cancer therapeutics.
METHODS: The human pancreatic cancer cell lines AsPC-1, Patu8988T, BxPC-3 and PANC-1, and immunodeficient mice were chosen as models to study the effects of rhein. The potent antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of rhein were examined by cell viability, cellular morphology, apoptosis and colony formation assays. The STAT3 luciferase report assay, immunostaining analysis and Western blot analysis revealed the inhibition of the IL6/STAT3 signaling axis.
RESULTS: Apoptosis was induced by adjunctive use of rhein with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors in pancreatic cancer cells as verified by cell apoptosis analysis and changes in the expression level of apoptotic/anti-apoptotic proteins BCL-2, BAX, Caspase 3 and Cl-PARP. Suppression of the phosphorylation of STAT3 and EGFR were also observed as a result of the treatment with a combination of rhein and EGFR inhibitors. Most interestingly, it was found that rhein considerably sensitized cells to erlotinib, thus suppressing tumor growth in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 xenograft models. The in vivo anti-tumor effect was associated with increased apoptosis and combined inhibition of the STAT3 and EGFR pathways in tumor remnants.
CONCLUSIONS: Rhein sensitizes human pancreatic cancer cells to EGFR inhibitors through inhibition of STAT3. Taken together, the results indicate that rhein offers a novel blueprint for pancreatic cancer therapy, particularly when combined with EGFR inhibitors.

Park Y, Kim J
Regulation of IL-6 signaling by miR-125a and let-7e in endothelial cells controls vasculogenic mimicry formation of breast cancer cells.
BMB Rep. 2019; 52(3):214-219 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of tumor-proximal factors in tumor plasticity during chemoresistance and metastasis following chemotherapy is well studied. However, the role of endothelial cell (EC) derived paracrine factors in tumor plasticity, their effect on chemotherapeutic outcome, and the mechanism by which these paracrine factors modulate the tumor microenvironment are not well understood. In this study, we report a novel mechanism by which endothelial miR-125a and let-7e-mediated regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) signaling can manipulate vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We found that endothelial IL-6 levels were significantly higher in response to cisplatin treatment, whereas levels of IL-6 upon cisplatin exposure remained unchanged in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We additionally found an inverse correlation between IL-6 and miR-125a/let-7e expression levels in cisplatin treated ECs. Interestingly, IL-6, IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) genes in the IL-6 pathway are closely regulated by miR-125a and let-7e, which directly target its 3' untranslated region. Functional analyses revealed that endothelial miR-125a and let-7e inhibit IL-6-induced adhesion of monocytes to ECs. Furthermore, conditioned medium from cisplatin treated ECs induced a significantly higher formation of VM in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells as compared to that from intact ECs; this effect of cisplatin treatment was abrogated by concurrent overexpression of miR-125a and let-7e. Overall, this study reveals a novel EC-tumor cell crosstalk mediated by the endothelial miR-125a/let-7e-IL-6 signaling axis, which might improve chemosensitivity and provide potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(3): 214-219].

Ma H, Yan D, Wang Y, et al.
Bazedoxifene exhibits growth suppressive activity by targeting interleukin-6/glycoprotein 130/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(3):950-961 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The interleukin (IL)-6/glycoprotein (GP)130/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 pathway is emerging as a target for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. IL-6 binds to IL-6R, forming a binary complex, which further combines with GP130 to transduce extracellular signaling by activating STAT3. Therefore, blocking the interaction between IL-6 and GP130 may inhibit the IL-6/GP130/STAT3 signaling pathway and its biological effects. It has been reported that bazedoxifene acetate (BAZ), a selective estrogen receptor modulator approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, could inhibit IL-6/GP130 protein-protein interactions. Western blot, immunofluorescence staining, wound healing and colony formation assays were used to detect the effect of BAZ on liver cancer cells. Cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. Apoptosis of cells was determined using the Annexin V-FITC detection kit. Mouse xenograft tumor models were utilized to evaluate the effect of BAZ in vivo. Our data showed that BAZ inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation (P-STAT3) and expression of STAT3 downstream genes, inducing apoptosis in liver cancer cells. BAZ inhibited P-STAT3 induced by IL-6, but not by leukemia inhibitory factor. BAZ inhibited P-STAT1 and P-STAT6 less significantly as elicited by interferon-α, interferon-γ and IL-4. In addition, pretreatment of BAZ impeded the translocation of STAT3 to nuclei induced by IL-6. BAZ inhibited cell viability, wound healing and colony formation in vitro. Furthermore, tumor growth in HEPG2 mouse xenografts were significantly inhibited by daily intragastric gavage of BAZ. Our results suggest that BAZ inhibited the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in vivo, indicating another potential strategy for HCC prevention and therapy.

Karachaliou N, Cardona AF, Bracht JWP, et al.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2): Novel targets in EGFR-mutation positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
EBioMedicine. 2019; 39:207-214 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The activation of multiple signaling pathways jeopardizes the clinical efficacy of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in EGFR-mutation positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) regulates the interactions between tumor cells and extracellular environment to activate signaling pathways and promote cell proliferation, migration, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) is essential for receptor tyrosine kinase signaling and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway activation.
METHODS: We analyzed tumor ILK, β-receptor subunit glycoprotein 130 (gp130), SHP2, and stromal hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) mRNA expression in baseline tumor specimens of advanced EGFR-mutation positive NSCLC patients treated with EGFR TKIs.
RESULTS: ILK, when highly expressed, was an independent poor prognostic factor for the progression-free survival of the patients, both in the univariate (hazard ratio [HR for disease progression, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.37-4.52; P = .0020]) and in the multivariate (HR 3.74; 95% CI, 1.33-10.56; P = .0126) Cox regression model. Patients with high SHP2 expression had an almost 13-month shorter progression-free survival (P = .0094) and an 18-month shorter overall survival (P = .0182) in comparison to those with low SHP2 mRNA expression.
INTERPRETATION: The levels of ILK and SHP2 could be predictive for upfront combinatory therapy of EGFR TKIs plus SHP2 or ILK inhibitors. FUND: A grant from La Caixa Foundation, an Instituto de Salud Carlos III grant (RESPONSE, PIE16/00011), an Instituto de Salud Carlos III grant (PI14/01678), a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks European Grant (ELBA No 765492) and a Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) grant (PROYE18012ROSE).

Hua Y, Azeem W, Shen Y, et al.
Dual androgen receptor (AR) and STAT3 inhibition by a compound targeting the AR amino-terminal domain.
Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2018; 6(6):e00437 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) often recurs as incurable castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) after the failure of androgen deprivation therapy. CRPC development relies on androgen receptor (AR) signaling. The IL6/STAT3 pathway is also a key driver of CRPC. The crosstalk between IL6/STAT3 and the AR pathways provides opportunities to explore next-generation agents to treat PCa. Through screening of around 600 natural compounds in our newly established prostate tumorigenesis model, potential STAT3 signaling inhibitors were found and additionally examined for effects on AR signaling. The small molecular compound 154 exhibited dual effects on IL6/STAT3 and AR pathways. We show here that compound 154 inhibits AR and STAT3 transcriptional activity, reduces the expression of phosphorylation of STAT3 (Y705) and downregulates the mRNA levels of AR target genes. Compound 154 also inhibits protein expression of AR and AR splice variants (ARv567es and AR-V7) without altering AR mRNA levels. Compound 154 binds to AR directly, but not to STAT3 and is identified as an antagonist of the AR amino-terminal domain (NTD) by disrupting protein-protein interactions between STAT3 and the AR NTD. Moreover, compound 154 does not reduce AR nuclear translocation. Compound 154 possesses the potential to become a leading compound in novel therapies against CRPC.

Masjedi A, Hashemi V, Hojjat-Farsangi M, et al.
The significant role of interleukin-6 and its signaling pathway in the immunopathogenesis and treatment of breast cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 108:1415-1424 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite remarkable improvements in cancer treatment approaches, breast cancer is still the main cause of cancer-related death in women. Its principal cause is the resistance of the cancer cells against conventional anticancer therapeutics, mainly in advanced disease stages. It has been shown that chronic inflammation in the tumor microenvironment facilitates tumor growth and induces resistance toward chemo- and radiotherapy. Overexpression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine in the tumor microenvironment has been demonstrated in numerous tumors including breast cancer. Tumor cells and tumor-associated fibroblasts are the major sources of IL-6 secretion in the tumor microenvironment. Several studies have demonstrated the immunopathogenic function of IL-6 and its signaling in the tumor growth, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance in the breast cancer. Therefore, it seems that targeting IL-6 and/or its receptor in combination with other potent anticancer therapies may be a potent therapeutic approach for breast cancer therapy.

Kim HS, Jung M, Choi SK, et al.
IL-6-mediated cross-talk between human preadipocytes and ductal carcinoma in situ in breast cancer progression.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):200 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The function of preadipocytes in the progression of early stage breast cancer has not been fully elucidated at the molecular level. To delineate the role of preadipocytes in breast cancer progression, we investigated the cross-talk between human breast ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) cells and preadipocytes with both an in vitro culture and xenograft tumor model.
METHODS: GFP or RFP was transduced into human DCIS cell line cells or preadipocytes using lentivirus. Cell sorter was used to separate pure, viable populations of GFP- or RFP-transduced cells. Cell viability and proliferation was assessed by crystal violet assays and cell migration and invasion capability was assayed by the transwell strategy. Gene and protein levels were measured by western blot, RT-PCR and immunostaining. Adipokines and cytokines were quantified using ELISA. Human tumor xenografts in a nude mice model were used. Ultrasound imaging of tumors was performed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of a IL-6 neutralizing antibody.
RESULTS: In the co-culture system with the and preadipocytes, proliferation, migration and invasion were enhanced by preadipocytes. Preadipocytes exhibited in an increased IL-6 secretion and cancer-associated fibroblast markers expression, FSP1 and α-SMC in co-culture with or in conditioned media, whereas the adipocyte differentiation capacity was suppressed by co-culture with A neutralizing antibody of IL-6 or IL-6R suppressed the promotion of proliferation and migration by co-culture with preadipocytes. In the xenograft tumor model, the tumor growth of was enhanced by the co-injection of preadipocytes, and the administration of IL-6 neutralizing antibodies resulted in potent effects on tumor inhibition.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that IL-6-mediated cross-talk between preadipocytes and breast DCIS cells can promote the progression of early stage breast cancer. Therefore, blocking IL-6 signaling might be a potential therapeutic strategy for breast DCIS characterized by pathological IL-6 overproduction.

Wu CT, Lin WY, Chen WC, Chen MF
Predictive Value of CD44 in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer and Its Relationship with IL-6 Signaling.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2018; 25(12):3518-3526 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CD44, a cancer stem cell surface marker, is associated with treatment resistance and prognosis in some cancers. In the present study, we examined the predictive value of CD44 in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical outcomes of 105 MIBC patients and correlated these outcomes with the expression of CD44. Furthermore, the bladder cancer cell lines HT1197 and MB49 were selected for cellular and animal experiments to investigate the correlation between CD44 and tumor aggressiveness.
RESULTS: Analysis of clinical specimens indicated that CD44 staining was significantly associated with a higher clinical stage, higher locoregional failure rate, and lower disease-specific survival rate for MIBC patients. Using cellular experiments and orthotopic tumor models, we showed that CD44+ bladder cancer cells had a higher invasion ability and augmented epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) compared with CD44 cells. There was a significant correlation between interleukin (IL)-6 and CD44 levels noted by in vitro testing, and clinical samples. Blockade of IL-6 attenuated the expression of CD44, cancer stem-cell-like properties, and aggressive tumor behavior in vitro and in vivo. The related changes included the attenuated STAT3 activation and EMT, and decreased programmed death ligand 1-mediated T-cell suppression.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that CD44 expression is positively associated with tumor aggressiveness in bladder cancer, and activated IL-6 signaling provides a suitable microenvironment for the induction of CD44 expression.

Duggimpudi S, Kloetgen A, Maney SK, et al.
Transcriptome-wide analysis uncovers the targets of the RNA-binding protein MSI2 and effects of MSI2's RNA-binding activity on IL-6 signaling.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(40):15359-15369 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
The RNA-binding protein Musashi 2 (MSI2) has emerged as an important regulator in cancer initiation, progression, and drug resistance. Translocations and deregulation of the

Tivari S, Lu H, Dasgupta T, et al.
Reawakening of dormant estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells by bone marrow stroma secretory senescence.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dormant estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer micrometastases in the bone marrow survive adjuvant chemotherapy and recur stochastically for more than 20 years. We hypothesized that inflammatory cytokines produced by stromal injury can re-awaken dormant breast cancer cells.
METHODS: We used an established in vitro dormancy model of Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7) breast cancer cells incubated at clonogenic density on fibronectin-coated plates to determine the effects of inflammatory cytokines on reactivation of dormant ER+ breast cancer cells. We measured induction of a mesenchymal phenotype, motility and the capacity to re-enter dormancy. We induced secretory senescence in murine stromal monolayers by oxidation, hypoxia and estrogen deprivation with hydrogen peroxide (H
RESULTS: Exogenous recombinant human (rh) interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 or transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) induced regrowth of dormant MCF-7 cells on fibronectin-coated plates. Dormant cells had decreased expression of E-cadherin and estrogen receptor α (ERα) and increased expression of N-cadherin and SNAI2 (SLUG). Cytokine or TGFβ1 treatment of dormant clones induced formation of growing clones, a mesenchymal appearance, increased motility and an impaired capacity to re-enter dormancy. Stromal injury induced secretion of IL-6, IL-8, upregulated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), activated TGFβ and stimulated the growth of co-cultivated MCF-7 cells. MCF-7 cells induced secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 by stroma in co-culture.
CONCLUSIONS: Dormant ER+ breast cancer cells have activated epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) gene expression programs and downregulated ERα but maintain a dormant epithelial phenotype. Stromal inflammation reactivates these cells, induces growth and a mesenchymal phenotype. Reactivated, growing cells have an impaired ability to re-enter dormancy. In turn, breast cancer cells co-cultured with stroma induce secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 by the stroma, creating a positive feedback loop.

Sperlich J, Teusch N
Pseudopterosin Inhibits Proliferation and 3D Invasion in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer by Agonizing Glucocorticoid Receptor Alpha.
Molecules. 2018; 23(8) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
Pseudopterosin, produced by the sea whip of the genus

Zhang B, Yu L, Han N, et al.
LINC01116 targets miR-520a-3p and affects IL6R to promote the proliferation and migration of osteosarcoma cells through the Jak-stat signaling pathway.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 107:270-282 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to find out the important lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA axis and pathway in osteosarcoma (OS) through bioinformatics analysis and verify the biological functions of lncRNA/miRNA/mRNA in OS through in vitro and in vivo assays.
METHODS: The differential expression mRNAs and lncRNAs were identified through microarray analysis, and the altered pathways were identified by GSEA. The Pearson Coefficient was used to analyze the correlations between mRNAs and lncRNAs. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was preformed using patient information in GEO database. Their target miRNAs were predicted by Targetscan and miRanda database and confirmed by dual luciferase reporter assay. QRT-PCR were utilized to detected the relative expressions of mRNAs, miRNAs and lncRNAs. The expressions of IL6R protein and pathway related proteins were detected by western blot. OS cell viability, migration and apoptosis were determined through MTT assay, Transwell assay and flow cytometry. Tumor formation in nude mice verified the influence of LINC01116 in vivo.
RESULTS: The Jak-stat signaling pathway was activated in OS tissues. LINC01116 expression was positively correlated with IL6R expression. MiR-520a-3p targeted the 3'-UTR of LINC01116 and IL6R. Lower expression levels of miR-520a-3p significantly correlated with shorter survival of patients. LINC01116 and IL6R were up-regulated while miR-520a-3p was down-regulated in OS. LINC01116 and IL6R promoted the viability and migration of OS cells, while miR-520a-3p acted as a tumor suppressor. MiR-520a-3p inhibitor could rescue the suppressive effects of si-LINC011116 and si-IL6R on OS development. The Jak-stat signaling pathway related proteins were also down-regulated by miR-520a-3p. Down-regulation of LINC01116 inhibited the tumor growth in nude mice.
CONCLUSION: LINC01116 up-regulated IL6R in OS through targeting miR-520a-3p, thus activating the Jak-stat signaling pathway and promoting the progression of OS.

Rolvering C, Zimmer AD, Ginolhac A, et al.
The PD-L1- and IL6-mediated dampening of the IL27/STAT1 anticancer responses are prevented by α-PD-L1 or α-IL6 antibodies.
J Leukoc Biol. 2018; 104(5):969-985 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-27 (IL27) is a type-I cytokine of the IL6/IL12 family and is predominantly secreted by activated macrophages and dendritic cells. We show that IL27 induces STAT factor phosphorylation in cancerous cell lines of different tissue origin. IL27 leads to STAT1 phosphorylation and recapitulates an IFN-γ-like response in the microarray analyses, with up-regulation of genes involved in antiviral defense, antigen presentation, and immune suppression. Like IFN-γ, IL27 leads to an up-regulation of TAP2 and MHC-I proteins, which mediate increased tumor immune clearance. However, both cytokines also upregulate proteins such as PD-L1 (CD274) and IDO-1, which are associated with immune escape of cancer. Interestingly, differential expression of these genes was observed within the different cell lines and when comparing IL27 to IFN-γ. In coculture experiments of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells with peripheral blood mononuclear cells, pre-treatment of the HCC cells with IL27 resulted in lowered IL2 production by anti-CD3/-CD28 activated T-lymphocytes. Addition of anti-PD-L1 antibody, however, restored IL2 secretion. The levels of other T

Yousefi H, Momeny M, Ghaffari SH, et al.
IL-6/IL-6R pathway is a therapeutic target in chemoresistant ovarian cancer.
Tumori. 2019; 105(1):84-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION:: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy worldwide and despite an initial response to therapeutic agents, the majority of patients have chemoresistant disease. There is no treatment strategy with proven efficacy against chemoresistant EOC and in this setting, overcoming therapy resistance is the key to successful treatment.
METHODS:: This study aimed to investigate expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) (IL-6) and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) in a panel of the EOC cell lines. To achieve this, the expression of IL-6 and its receptor were compared in the EOC cells using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. MTT assay was performed to obtain chemosensitivity of the EOC cells.
RESULTS:: In this report, we show that expressions of IL6 and IL6R are higher in therapy-resistant EOC cells compared to sensitive ones. Higher expression of IL6 and its receptor correlated with resistance to certain chemotherapeutic agents. Moreover, our findings showed that combination of tocilizumab (Actemra; Roche), an anti-IL-6R monoclonal antibody, with carboplatin synergistically inhibited growth and proliferation of the EOC cells and the most direct axis for IL-6 gene expression was NF-κB pathway.
CONCLUSION:: Collectively, our findings suggest that blockade of the IL-6 signaling pathway with anti-IL-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab might resensitize the chemoresistant cells to the current chemotherapeutics.

Gril B, Paranjape AN, Woditschka S, et al.
Reactive astrocytic S1P3 signaling modulates the blood-tumor barrier in brain metastases.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):2705 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
Brain metastases are devastating complications of cancer. The blood-brain barrier (BBB), which protects the normal brain, morphs into an inadequately characterized blood-tumor barrier (BTB) when brain metastases form, and is surrounded by a neuroinflammatory response. These structures contribute to poor therapeutic efficacy by limiting drug uptake. Here, we report that experimental breast cancer brain metastases of low- and high permeability to a dextran dye exhibit distinct microenvironmental gene expression patterns. Astrocytic sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor 3 (S1P3) is upregulated in the neuroinflammatory response of the highly permeable lesions, and is expressed in patients' brain metastases. S1P3 inhibition functionally tightens the BTB in vitro and in vivo. S1P3 mediates its effects on BTB permeability through astrocytic secretion of IL-6 and CCL2, which relaxes endothelial cell adhesion. Tumor cell overexpression of S1P3 mimics this pathway, enhancing IL-6 and CCL-2 production and elevating BTB permeability. In conclusion, neuroinflammatory astrocytic S1P3 modulates BTB permeability.

Banzola I, Mengus C, Wyler S, et al.
Expression of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase Induced by IFN-γ and TNF-α as Potential Biomarker of Prostate Cancer Progression.
Front Immunol. 2018; 9:1051 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
Inflammation has been suggested to play an important role in onset and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). Histological analysis of prostatectomy specimens has revealed focal inflammation in early stage lesions of this malignancy. We addressed the role of inflammatory stimuli in the release of PCa-specific, tumor-derived soluble factors (PCa-TDSFs) already reported to be mediators of PCa morbidity, such as indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and interleukin (IL)-6. Inflammation-driven production and functions of PCa-TDFSs were tested "

Norelli M, Camisa B, Barbiera G, et al.
Monocyte-derived IL-1 and IL-6 are differentially required for cytokine-release syndrome and neurotoxicity due to CAR T cells.
Nat Med. 2018; 24(6):739-748 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the clinic, chimeric antigen receptor-modified T (CAR T) cell therapy is frequently associated with life-threatening cytokine-release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity. Understanding the nature of these pathologies and developing treatments for them are hampered by the lack of appropriate animal models. Herein, we describe a mouse model recapitulating key features of CRS and neurotoxicity. In humanized mice with high leukemia burden, CAR T cell-mediated clearance of cancer triggered high fever and elevated IL-6 levels, which are hallmarks of CRS. Human monocytes were the major source of IL-1 and IL-6 during CRS. Accordingly, the syndrome was prevented by monocyte depletion or by blocking IL-6 receptor with tocilizumab. Nonetheless, tocilizumab failed to protect mice from delayed lethal neurotoxicity, characterized by meningeal inflammation. Instead, the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra abolished both CRS and neurotoxicity, resulting in substantially extended leukemia-free survival. These findings offer a therapeutic strategy to tackle neurotoxicity and open new avenues to safer CAR T cell therapies.

Hou L, Xie S, Li G, et al.
IL-6 Triggers the Migration and Invasion of Oestrogen Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer Cells via Regulation of Hippo Pathways.
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2018; 123(5):549-557 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the major challenges for women's health. However, the role and mechanisms of interleukins (ILs) on the progression of breast cancer are not well illustrated. Our present study revealed that the expressions of IL-6 and IL-8 were significantly increased in oestrogen receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer cells. Increased expression of IL-6 was observed in 83.9% (26/31) ER- breast cancer tissues as compared with their matched adjacent normal tissues. In vitro studies indicated that IL-6 can significantly promote the migration and invasion of ER- breast cancer cells via increasing the dephosphorylation, nuclear translocation and transcriptional activities of YAP in breast cancer cells. Knockdown of YAP can attenuate IL-6-induced migration and invasion of cancer cells, suggesting that YAP plays an essential role in IL-6-induced malignancy of breast cancer cells. Furthermore, IL-6 treatment also decreased the phosphorylation of LATS1/2. The knockdown of LATS1/2 synergistically suppressed si-IL-6-induced deactivation of YAP. Targeted inhibition of IL-6/YAP can significantly suppress the invasion of ER- breast cancer cells. Collectively, our study revealed that IL-6 can trigger the malignancy of breast cancer cells via activation of YAP signals. Targeted inhibition of IL-6/YAP might be a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of ER- breast cancer.

Wang W, Yuan X, Xu A, et al.
Human cancer cells suppress behaviors of endothelial progenitor cells through miR-21 targeting IL6R.
Microvasc Res. 2018; 120:21-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a severe clinical process and has a high rate of fatality. Cancer patients have a high incidence rate of venous thrombosis complication and increase the mortality of cancer patients for 2-8 times. The mechanisms involved in human cancers and venous thrombosis remains unclear. In this study, we determined miR-21 expressed higher in human breast cancer, colon cancer and hepatocellular cancer tissues compared with normal tissues and expressed higher in exosomes of breast cancer and hepatocellular cancer cell lines compared with normal cells. MiR-21 dramatically suppressed proliferation, migration and invasion of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which performed promoting role in thrombus repairment and resolution. High levels of miR-21 in exosomes of human cancers dramatically inhibited behaviors of EPCs, and depletion of miR-21 abrogated the decreased proliferation, migration and invasion of EPCs induced by human cancer cells. Moreover, IL6R (interleukin 6 receptor) was identified to be a direct target of miR-21 and promoted cell proliferation, migration and invasion of EPCs. Therefore, the miR-21-IL6R pathway contributed to behaviors of EPCs and consequently mediated the vein thrombosis in patients with cancer. MiR-21-IL6R pathway based therapeutic methods would be beneficial to decrease the complicated venous thrombosis in cancer patients and promote thrombus resolution.

Castellano-Castillo D, Morcillo S, Clemente-Postigo M, et al.
Adipose tissue inflammation and
Clin Epigenetics. 2018; 10:60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
Background: Lack of vitamin D (VD) has been associated with colorectal cancer (CRC). VD has anti-inflammatory effects and regulates several cellular pathways by means of its receptor, including epigenetic modifications. Adipose tissue dysfunction has been related to low-grade inflammation, which is related to diseases like cancer. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), adipose tissue gene expression of VD receptor (VDR), pro-inflammatory markers, and the epigenetic factor DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3A) as well as VDR promoter methylation in CRC.
Methods: Blood and visceral adipose tissue from 57 CRC and 50 healthy control subjects were collected. CRC subjects had lower serum 25(OH)D levels and higher VDR gene expression, and these were negatively correlated in the CRC group.
Results: Adipose tissue
Conclusion: Our results suggest that adipose tissue may be a key factor in CRC development. The low 25(OH)D levels and high adipose tissue

Bharti R, Dey G, Das AK, Mandal M
Differential expression of IL-6/IL-6R and MAO-A regulates invasion/angiogenesis in breast cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 118(11):1442-1452 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Monoamine oxidases (MAO) are mitochondrial enzymes functioning in oxidative metabolism of monoamines. The action of MAO-A has been typically described in neuro-pharmacological domains. Here, we have established a co-relation between IL-6/IL-6R and MAO-A and their regulation in hypoxia induced invasion/angiogenesis.
METHODS: We employed various in-vitro and in-vivo techniques and clinical samples.
RESULTS: We studied a co-relation among MAO-A and IL-6/IL-6R and tumour angiogenesis/invasion in hypoxic environment in breast cancer model. Activation of IL-6/IL-6R and its downstream was found in hypoxic cancer cells. This elevation of IL-6/IL-6R caused sustained inhibition of MAO-A in hypoxic environment. Inhibition of IL-6R signalling or IL-6R siRNA increased MAO-A activity and inhibited tumour angiogenesis and invasion significantly in different models. Further, elevation of MAO-A with 5-azacytidine (5-Aza) modulated IL-6 mediated angiogenesis and invasive signatures including VEGF, MMPs and EMT in hypoxic breast cancer. High grade invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) clinical specimen displayed elevated level of IL-6R and depleted MAO-A expression. Expression of VEGF and HIF-1α was unregulated and loss of E-Cadherin was observed in high grade IDC tissue specimen.
CONCLUSIONS: Suppression of MAO-A by IL-6/IL-6R activation promotes tumour angiogenesis and invasion in hypoxic breast cancer environment.

Tanjak P, Thiantanawat A, Watcharasit P, Satayavivad J
Genistein reduces the activation of AKT and EGFR, and the production of IL6 in cholangiocarcinoma cells involving estrogen and estrogen receptors.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(1):177-188 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a malignant tumor of the biliary epithelium associated with Opisthorchis viverrini, primary sclerosing cholangitis and hepatitis viral infection. In the global population, men have higher incidence rates for CCA than women; thus, a gender disparity in the progression of chronic inflammation of the biliary duct leading to malignancy may involve the effects of estrogen (E2). Genistein (GE), a prominent phytoestrogen found in soy products, is an estrogen receptor β (ERβ) agonist and a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The present study investigated the effects of GE on the growth of CCA cells by cell viability assay. The effects on signaling proteins were detected by western blot analysis and ELISA. Gene expression was examined by RT-qPCR. Two human intrahepatic CCA cell lines, HuCCA‑1 and RMCCA‑1, were utilized. GE (50‑200 µM) reduced the viability of the two cell lines, and also inhibited the activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and AKT, as evidenced by decreasing protein levels of phosphorylated (p)-EGFR (Tyr1173) and p‑AKT (Ser473), respectively. GE altered the mitogen‑activated protein kinase signaling cascade by mediating decreased protein levels of p‑p38 and increased protein levels of p‑ERK1/2. GE significantly decreased the levels of interleukin 6 (IL6) and induced the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). GE also downregulated the expression of p‑ERα (Ser118) protein and ERα mRNA levels. Finally, GE induced the downregulation of the protein levels of ERβ. Of note, E2 deprivation potentiated the GE-induced reduction of p‑EGFR (Tyr1173) and total AKT proteins and production of IL6, and mediated the downregulation of GE-induced iNOS protein. In conclusion, GE inhibited the growth of human CCA cell lines by reducing the activation of EGFR and AKT, and by attenuating the production of IL6. E2 and ER were also involved in the growth-inhibitory effect of GE in CCA cells.

Song Z, Ren D, Xu X, Wang Y
Molecular cross-talk of IL-6 in tumors and new progress in combined therapy.
Thorac Cancer. 2018; 9(6):669-675 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
IL-6, a cytokine activated by type I interferons (IFNs), is encoded by the IL-6 gene, and secreted by T cells and macrophages. It serves many purposes in the human body and is significant to pathological and physiological activities, such as acute inflammatory responses, autoimmune diseases, and tumor formation. The wide range of IL-6 actions on tumors rely on more than one specific pathway. Advances in modern research have determined that to fulfill its complex physiological functions, IL-6 must be involved in cross-talk with a number of other molecular pathways. Therefore, it is important to clarify the comprehensive pathway network associated with IL-6 activity and to explore the mechanisms to inhibit its pathological activity in order to develop corresponding treatment plans. This study is a simple review of the pathological and physiological actions of IL-6 on the human body. It explains in detail the molecular pathways involved in cross-talk between IL-6 and tumors, summarizing and discussing the latest progress made in IL-6-related internal medicine treatments in recent years, including chemotherapies, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies. Our results provide new insight into the treatment of tumors.

Das SK, Pradhan AK, Bhoopathi P, et al.
The MDA-9/Syntenin/IGF1R/STAT3 Axis Directs Prostate Cancer Invasion.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(11):2852-2863 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
Although prostate cancer is clinically manageable during several stages of progression, survival is severely compromised once cells invade and metastasize to distant organs. Comprehending the pathobiology of invasion is required for developing efficacious targeted therapies against metastasis. Based on bioinformatics data, we predicted an association of melanoma differentiation-associated gene-9 [syntenin, or syndecan binding protein (SDCBP)] in prostate cancer progression. Using tissue samples from various Gleason stage prostate cancer patients with adjacent normal tissue, a series of normal prostate and prostate cancer cell lines (with differing tumorigenic/metastatic properties),

Wakabayashi H, Hamaguchi T, Nagao N, et al.
Interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor suppresses bone metastases in a breast cancer cell line.
Breast Cancer. 2018; 25(5):566-574 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a potent inflammatory cytokine that appears to play a key role in cancer growth and metastasis. In the present study, the effects of IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) on breast cancer aggressiveness and bone metastases were investigated.
METHODS: MDA-MB-231 (MDA-231) cells were treated in the presence or absence of anti-human IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) monoclonal antibody and examined with respect to cell survival. The expressions of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. MDA-231 cells were injected into the left ventricle of mice, and then anti-human IL-6R monoclonal antibody or saline was administered intraperitoneally for 28 days. After 28 days, the incidence of bone metastases was evaluated in the hind limbs by radiography and histology.
RESULTS: Anti-human IL-6R monoclonal antibody reduced bone metastases in an animal model injected with MDA-231 cells on radiological and histomorphometric analyses. The mechanism of bone metastasis inhibition involved inhibited cell proliferation and decreased expressions of phospho-Stat3, VEGF, and RANK in MDA-231 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study suggest that inhibition of IL-6 signaling may become a preventive therapeutic option for breast cancer and bone metastases.

Tvedt THA, Hovland R, Tsykunova G, et al.
A pilot study of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the interleukin-6 receptor and their effects on pre- and post-transplant serum mediator level and outcome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2018; 193(1):130-141 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/10/2019 Related Publications
Interleukin (IL)-6 is an important regulator of immunity and inflammation in many diseases. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL-6 gene influence outcome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT), but the possible importance of SNPs in the IL-6 receptor has not been examined. We therefore investigated whether SNPs in the IL-6R gene influenced biochemical characteristics and clinical outcomes after ASCT. We examined the IL-6 promoter variant rs1800975 and the IL-6R SNPs rs4453032, rs2228145, rs4129267, rs4845374, rs4329505, rs4845617, rs12083537, rs4845618, rs6698040 and rs4379670 in a 101 population-based cohort of allotransplant recipients and their family donors. Patients being homozygous for the major alleles of the IL-6R SNPs rs2228145 and rs4845618 showed high pretransplant CRP serum levels together with decreased sIL-6R levels; the decreased IL-6R levels persisted 6 months post-transplant. In contrast, patients being homozygous for the minor allele of the IL-6R SNP rs4379670 showed decreased pretransplant CRP levels. Furthermore, the IL-6R rs4845618 donor genotype showed an association with severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), whereas the donor genotype of the IL-6 SNP rs1800795 was associated with decreased survival 100 days post-transplant. Finally, the recipient genotype of the IL-6R SNP rs4329505 showed a strong association with 2-years non-relapse mortality, and this effect was also highly significant in multivariate analysis. IL-6 and IL-6R SNPs influence the clinical outcome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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