Molecular Biology of the Gene
Cytokines are a family of proteins which control communication between the different cells of our body. They are chemical messengers between the cells and are involved in mediating a number of vital processes: cellular differentiation, embryonic development and immune and inflammatory responses.
Any disruption in the production of these proteins can have serious consequences on an individual. For example: an excess of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) can induce a "septic shock" and lead to death.
The production and regulation of these proteins are thus controlled by the body in an extremely efficient and complex manner.
The study of the regulation of the expression of the genes which code for these cytokines is in full swing throughout the world, because understanding this process can allow researchers to develop new efficient and targeted treatments.