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The information on this page was automatically extracted from online scientific databases.

What is the official name of the IL21 gene?

The official name of this gene is “interleukin 21.”

IL21 is the gene's official symbol. The IL21 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the IL21 gene?

From NCBI GeneThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.:

This gene encodes a member of the common-gamma chain family of cytokines with immunoregulatory activity. The encoded protein plays a role in both the innate and adaptive immune responses by inducing the differentiation, proliferation and activity of multiple target cells including macrophages, natural killer cells, B cells and cytotoxic T cells. Dysregulation of this gene plays a role in multiple immune-mediated diseases including lupus, psoriasis and chronic inflammatory diseases. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding multiple isoforms have been observed for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2011]

From UniProt (IL21_HUMAN)This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.:

Cytokine with immunoregulatory activity. May promote the transition between innate and adaptive immunity. Induces the production of IgG(1) and IgG(3) in B-cells (By similarity). May play a role in proliferation and maturation of natural killer (NK) cells in synergy with IL15. May regulate proliferation of mature B- and T-cells in response to activating stimuli. In synergy with IL15 and IL18 stimulates interferon gamma production in T-cells and NK cells. During T-cell mediated immune response may inhibit dendritic cells (DC) activation and maturation.

How are changes in the IL21 gene related to health conditions?

Genetics Home Reference provides information about rheumatoid arthritis, which is associated with changes in the IL21 gene.
NCBI GeneThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. lists the following diseases or traits (phenotypes) known or believed to be associated with changes in the IL21 gene.
  • Common variable immunodeficiency 11
OMIM.orgThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference., a catalog designed for genetics professionals and researchers, provides the following information about the IL21 gene and its association with health conditions.

Where is the IL21 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 4q26-q27

Molecular Location on chromosome 4: base pairs 122,612,628 to 122,621,057

The IL21 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 4 between positions 26 and 27.

The IL21 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 4 between positions 26 and 27.

More precisely, the IL21 gene is located from base pair 122,612,628 to base pair 122,621,057 on chromosome 4.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about IL21?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about IL21 helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the IL21 gene or gene products?

  • CVID11
  • IL-21
  • Za11

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding IL21?

adaptive immunity ; antibody ; B-cells ; cell ; chronic ; cytokine ; deficiency ; differentiation ; gene ; immune response ; immunodeficiency ; isoforms ; killer cells ; natural killer cells ; NK cells ; proliferation ; protein ; psoriasis ; secretion ; T-cells ; transcript

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Published: November 23, 2015