Rediscovering MIF: New Tricks for an Old Cytokine.


Rheumatology Group, Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]


Produced by many cell types, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pleiotropic cytokine with critical and supporting roles in many disease states and conditions. Its disease associations, myriad functions, receptors, and downstream signaling have been the subject of considerable research, yet many questions remain. Moreover, the relevance of MIF's partially functionally redundant family member, D-dopachrome tautomerase (D-DT), also remains to be further characterized. Here, we discuss recent discoveries demonstrating direct roles of MIF in supporting NLR Family Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 (NRLP3) inflammasome activation, as well as acting as a molecular chaperone for intracellular proteins. These findings may offer new clues to understanding MIF's multiple functions, and assist the development of putative MIF-targeting therapeutics for a variety of pathologies.

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