IL-21 Signaling in the Tumor Microenvironment

  • Ghita Chabab
  • Nathalie Bonnefoy
  • Virginie LafontEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1240)


IL-21 is an immunomodulatory cytokine produced by natural killer (NK) cells and T cells that has pleiotropic roles in immune and nonimmune cells. IL-21 can modulate innate and specific immunity activities. It is a potent stimulator of T and natural killer cell-mediated antitumor immunity but also has pro-inflammatory functions in many tissues and is involved in oncogenesis. It is important to understand IL-21 biology in these different situations to ensure the maximal benefit of therapeutic strategies targeting this cytokine. This chapter summarizes IL-21 characteristics and signaling, its role in immune system components, and its use in cancer immunotherapies.


Cytokine Immune cells Lymphocytes Myeloid cells Tumor microenvironment Antitumor activity Pro-tumoral activity Signaling pathways γc Cytokine family JAK-STAT pathways PI3-kinase pathway ERK pathway Transcription factors Regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghita Chabab
    • 1
  • Nathalie Bonnefoy
    • 1
  • Virginie Lafont
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IRCM, Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier, INSERM U1194, Université de Montpellier, Institut régional du Cancer de MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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