Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) and Receptor

Based on its helical structure, LIF (Leukemia Inhibitory Factor) is considered a member of the Interleukin-6 family of cytokines. Functionally, it has been implicated in a many physiological processes including development, hematopoiesis, bone metabolism, and inflammation. Some cell types known to express LIF include activated T cells, monocytes, astrocytes, osteoblasts, keratinocytes, regenerating skeletal muscle, mast cells, and fibroblasts. The activities of LIF are mediated through a high-affinity heterodimeric receptor complex consisting of two membrane glycoproteins: an alpha subunit (LIF R alpha, also known as LIF R beta and CD118) that binds LIF with low affinity and the 130 kDa (gp130) subunit that does not bind LIF by itself, but is required for high-affinity binding of LIF by the complex.