DATABASE: Eavesdropping on the Immune System

Science  23 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5683, pp. 457b
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5683.457b

The immune system depends on molecules called cytokines to send messages to its defensive cells. To find out more about these proteins and their genes, drop by the Cytokine Family Database from Kumamoto University School of Medicine in Japan. Each search connects you to a wealth of protein and gene databases. For instance, click on the entry for interleukin-6, which prods B cells to divide, and you can compare the gene's sequence across species with Ensembl and learn about its involvement in diseases at Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. If you want to know more about how cytokines motivate cells, try the linked Cytokine Signaling Pathway Database.

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