PROSITE documentation PDOC00509
LIF / OSM family signature


On the basis of functional and structural similarities, the following small cytokines can be classified into a single family [1,2]:

  • Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) (also known as differentiation-stimulating factor). LIF is a mammalian growth factor that controls the differentiation and proliferation of hematopoietic cells as well as those of several other cellular lineages.
  • Oncostatin (OSM), a growth regulator produced by a number of mammalian cells lines. OSM is capable of inhibiting the replication of a number of tumor cells.

As a signature pattern for these cytokines, we selected a conserved region in their C-terminal section. This region is centered on a conserved cysteine which has been shown [3], in OSM, to be involved in a disulfide bond.


It has been said [2] that LIF and OSM can be included in the IL-6 family of cytokines (see the relevant entry <PDOC00227>), but while all these cytokines seem to be structurally related, the sequence similarity is not high enough to allow the use of a single consensus pattern.

Last update:

November 1997 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

LIF_OSM, PS00590; LIF / OSM family signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsHilton D.J.
TitleLIF: lots of interesting functions.
SourceTrends Biochem. Sci. 17:72-76(1992).
PubMed ID1566332

2AuthorsRose T.M. Bruce A.G.
TitleOncostatin M is a member of a cytokine family that includes leukemia-inhibitory factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and interleukin 6.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 88:8641-8645(1991).
PubMed ID1717982

3AuthorsKallestad J.C. Shoyab M. Linsley P.S.
TitleDisulfide bond assignment and identification of regions required for functional activity of oncostatin M.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 266:8940-8945(1991).
PubMed ID2026606

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