The ancient cytokine IL-17D is regulated by Nrf2 and mediates tumor and virus surveillance

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Early stage immune responses can dictate the severity and outcome of inflammatory processes such as tumor growth and viral infection. Cytokines such as the interleukin 17 (IL-17) family and cellular stress defense (e.g., anti-oxidant) pathways have evolved early and regulate disease surveillance in vertebrates and invertebrates as far back as Caenorhabditis elegans. Our group has recently found a new role for nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) in regulating early anti-cancer immune responses by inducing IL-17D and recruiting natural killer (NK) cells. In this Cytokine Stimulus, we discuss recent findings that encourage boosting the Nrf2/IL-17D/NK cell axis for the treatment of cancer and viral infection.

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