IL-4 Signaling Pathways

Click on the "Effects" button below to reveal the primary biological effects of IL-4 signaling in different immune cell types. Click on one of the other cytokines below for information on a different common cytokine receptor gamma-chain family member.

Common gamma chain
Common gamma chain
IL-4
IL-4
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IL-4 R alpha
IL-4 R alpha
IL-4
IL-4
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IL-4 R alpha
IL-4 R alpha
IL-13 R alpha 1
IL-13 R alpha 1
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Jak1
Jak1
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Jak3
Jak3
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Jak1
Jak1
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Tyk2
Tyk2
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STAT6
STAT6
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STAT5
STAT5
STAT Dimer
STAT Dimer

IL-4 Receptor-Expressing Cells:
T cells, B cells, natural killer cells,
basophils, mast cells

IL-4 Receptor-Expressing Cells:
T cells, B cells, natural killer cells,
basophils, mast cells

PI 3-K
PI 3-K
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PDK-1
PDK-1
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Akt/PKB
Akt/PKB
p70 S6K
p70 S6K
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Bad
Bad
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GSK-3
GSK-3
Forkhead
Forkhead
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IRS
IRS
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Shc
Shc
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GRB2
GRB2
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SOS
SOS
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Ras
Ras
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Raf
Raf
MEK1/2
MEK1/2
ERK1/2
ERK1/2
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PIP2
PIP2
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PIP3
PIP3
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Anti-Apoptotic

Anti-Apoptotic

Mitogenic

Mitogenic

Target Genes
Target Genes

Overview of IL-4 Signaling and its Primary Biological Effects in Different Immune Cell Types

Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is a glycosylated, type I cytokine with three intra-chain disulfide bridges that adopts a bundled four alpha-helix structure. It is primarily produced by T cells, natural killer T cells, mast cells, and eosinophils. IL-4 initiates signal transduction through one of two different receptor complexes, a type I receptor expressed on hematopoietic cells or a type II receptor expressed on nonhematopoietic cells. The type I receptor consists of the IL-4 R alpha and common gamma-chain/IL-2 R gamma subunits and is specific for IL-4, while the type II receptor consists of the IL-4 R alpha and IL-13 R alpha 1 subunits and can be activated by either IL-4 or IL-13. IL-4 signaling is required for the differentiation of Th2 and Th9 cells and regulates immunoglobulin class switching in B cells. In addition, IL-4 plays a central role in the development of allergic inflammation and asthma by enhancing the expression of Fc epsilon RI on B cells, mast cells, and basophils, promoting mast cell survival and proliferation, and inducing mast cell, basophil, and eosinophil chemotaxis.

To learn more, please visit our Common gamma Chain Receptor Family Research Area.

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