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Sci. Signal., 23 December 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 51, p. pe55
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.1.51.pe55]

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Untangling the Complex Web of IL-4– and IL-13–Mediated Signaling Pathways

Marsha Wills-Karp1* and Fred D. Finkelman1,2

1 Division of Immunobiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA.
2 Department of Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0555, USA, and Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA.

Abstract: Unraveling the exact signaling events mediating the distinct functions of the T cell–derived cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13 has been challenging because they are structurally similar and share a functional signaling receptor chain. A study now proposes a potential molecular mechanism to explain the functional differences between IL-4 and IL-13 that involves the ability of IL-4, but not IL-13, to effectively activate the insulin receptor substrate–2 (IRS-2) signaling cascade through binding to its receptor. A better understanding of the interactions of IL-4 and IL-13 with their cognate receptors may facilitate the development of therapies without unintended side effects.

* Corresponding author. E-mail, wildc7{at}cchmc.org

Citation: M. Wills-Karp, F. D. Finkelman, Untangling the Complex Web of IL-4– and IL-13–Mediated Signaling Pathways. Sci. Signal. 1, pe55 (2008).

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