Interleukin 6 receptor (IL-6R) also known as CD126 (Cluster of Differentiation 126) is a type I cytokine receptor. The low concentration of a soluble form of IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) acts as an agonist of IL-6 activity. In the IL-6R/CD126/IL6R system, both a membrane-bound IL-6R and a sIL-6R protein are able to mediate IL-6 signals into the cells through the interaction of gp13. The resulting IL-6/sIL-6R protein complex is also capable of binding to gp13 and inducing intracellular signalling. Through this so-called 'trans-signalling' mechanism, IL-6 is able to stimulate cells that lack an endogenous mIL-6R. High levels of IL-6 and sIL-6R have been reported in several chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases as well as in cancer.
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Kang KW, et al. (2007) Novel role of IL-6/SIL-6R signaling in the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in murine B16, metastatic melanoma clone F10.9, cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 42(2): 215-27.
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