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Molecular pathways: interleukin-15 signaling in health and in cancer.


ABSTRACT: Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a proinflammatory cytokine involved in the development, survival, proliferation, and activation of multiple lymphocyte lineages utilizing a variety of signaling pathways. IL-15 utilizes three distinct receptor chains in at least two different combinations to signal and exert its effects on the immune system. The binding of IL-15 to its receptor complex activates an "immune-enhancing" signaling cascade in natural killer cells and subsets of T cells, as well as the induction of a number of proto-oncogenes. Additional studies have explored the role of IL-15 in the development and progression of cancer, notably leukemia of large granular lymphocytes, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. This review provides an overview of the molecular events in the IL-15 signaling pathway and the aberrancies in its regulation that are associated with chronic inflammation and cancer. We briefly explore the potential therapeutic opportunities that have arisen as a result of these studies to further the treatment of cancer. These involve both targeting the disruption of IL-15 signaling as well as IL-15-mediated enhancement of innate and antigen-specific immunity.

SUBMITTER: Mishra A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3989546 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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