Skip Navigation
Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®


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

What is the official name of the IL6 gene?

The official name of this gene is “interleukin 6.”

IL6 is the gene's official symbol. The IL6 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

What is the normal function of the IL6 gene?

From NCBI Gene (

This gene encodes a cytokine that functions in inflammation and the maturation of B cells. In addition, the encoded protein has been shown to be an endogenous pyrogen capable of inducing fever in people with autoimmune diseases or infections. The protein is primarily produced at sites of acute and chronic inflammation, where it is secreted into the serum and induces a transcriptional inflammatory response through interleukin 6 receptor, alpha. The functioning of this gene is implicated in a wide variety of inflammation-associated disease states, including suspectibility to diabetes mellitus and systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. [provided by RefSeq, Jun 2011]

From UniProt (

Cytokine with a wide variety of biological functions. It is a potent inducer of the acute phase response. Plays an essential role in the final differentiation of B-cells into Ig-secreting cells Involved in lymphocyte and monocyte differentiation. Acts on B-cells, T-cells, hepatocytes, hematopoietic progenitor cells and cells of the CNS. Required for the generation of T(H)17 cells. Also acts as a myokine. It is discharged into the bloodstream after muscle contraction and acts to increase the breakdown of fats and to improve insulin resistance. It induces myeloma and plasmacytoma growth and induces nerve cells differentiation.

How are changes in the IL6 gene related to health conditions?

Genetics Home Reference provides information about these conditions associated with changes in the IL6 gene:
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • type 1 diabetes
UniProt ( provides the following information about the IL6 gene's known or predicted involvement in human disease.

A IL6 promoter polymorphism is associated with a lifetime risk of development of Kaposi sarcoma in HIV-infected men.

NCBI Gene ( lists the following diseases or traits (phenotypes) known or believed to be associated with changes in the IL6 gene.
  • Cerebral arteriovenous malformation
  • Classic Kaposi sarcoma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease 1
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic juvenile (, a catalog designed for genetics professionals and researchers, provides the following information about the IL6 gene and its association with health conditions.

Where is the IL6 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 7p21

Molecular Location on chromosome 7: base pairs 22,725,441 to 22,732,001

The IL6 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 7 at position 21.

The IL6 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 7 at position 21.

More precisely, the IL6 gene is located from base pair 22,725,441 to base pair 22,732,001 on chromosome 7.

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

Where can I find additional information about IL6?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about IL6 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 IL6 gene or gene products?

  • BSF2
  • HGF
  • HSF
  • IFNB2
  • IL-6

See How are genetic conditions and genes named? ( in the Handbook.

What glossary definitions help with understanding IL6?

acute ; arteriovenous ; arthritis ; autoimmune ; B-cells ; breakdown ; chronic ; CNS ; contraction ; cytokine ; diabetes ; diabetes mellitus ; differentiation ; fever ; gene ; hematopoietic ; hepatosplenomegaly ; HIV ; inflammation ; insulin ; insulin resistance ; juvenile ; lymphocyte ; malformation ; monocyte ; mutation ; myalgia ; myeloma ; polymorphism ; progenitor cells ; promoter ; protein ; receptor ; sarcoma ; serositis ; susceptibility ; T-cells

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


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: September 1, 2015