Interleukin-6 (IL-6/BSF-2/IFN beta 2) is a multifunctional cytokine that regulates the growth and differentiation of various tissues, and is known particularly for its role in the immune response and acute phase reactions. A complementary DNA encoding the human IL-6 receptor (IL-6-R) has now been isolated. The IL-6-R consists of 468 amino acids, including a signal peptide of approximately 19 amino acids and a domain of approximately 90 amino acids that is similar to a domain in the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily. The cytoplasmic domain of approximately 82 amino acids lacks a tyrosine/kinase domain, unlike other growth factor receptors.