IL-7 Signaling Pathways

Click on the "Effects" button below to reveal the primary biological effects of IL-7 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-7
IL-7
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IL-7 R alpha
IL-7 R alpha
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Jak1
Jak1
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Jak3
Jak3
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STAT1
STAT1
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STAT3
STAT3
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STAT5
STAT5
STAT Dimer
STAT Dimer

IL-7 Receptor-Expressing Cells:
T cells, pre-B cells, dendritic cells

IL-7 Receptor-Expressing Cells:
T cells, pre-B cells, dendritic 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-7 Signaling and its Primary Biological Effects in Different Immune Cell Types

Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is a type I glycoprotein that is predicted to form a four alpha-helix structure with a hydrophobic core. It is produced primarily by stromal cells and exerts its effects through a receptor complex consisting of IL-7 R alpha and common gamma-chain/IL-2 R gamma. IL-7 signaling is essential for the establishment and maintenance of normal immune system functions. It is required for mouse and human T cell development and homeostatic proliferation, mouse B cell development, and the generation of CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells. IL-7 R alpha-deficient mice have reduced numbers of thymocytes, impaired T cell and B cell development, and lack gamma delta T cells, a small subset of T cells found in epithelium-rich tissues. The requirement of IL-7 for T cell survival has been partially attributed to its ability to induce expression of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1 proteins. In addition, IL-7 plays a role in regulating V(D)J recombination at the TCR gamma, TCR beta, and immunoglobulin heavy chain loci.

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