Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) is also known as catabolin, is a cytokine protein that in humans is encoded by the IL1B gene. IL-1β precursor is cleaved by caspase 1 (interleukin 1 beta convertase). Cytosolic thiol protease cleaves the product to form mature IL-1 beta.
IL1β are structurally related polypeptides that share approximately 21% amino acid (aa) identity in human. Both proteins are produced by a wide variety of cells in response to inflammatory agents, infections, or microbial endotoxins. While IL1α and IL1β are regulated independently, they bind to the same receptor and exert identical biological effects.
IL-1β is a member of the interleukin 1 cytokine family. This cytokine is produced by activated macrophages as a proprotein, which is proteolytically processed to its active form by caspase 1 (CASP1/ICE). This cytokine is an important mediator of the inflammatory response, and is involved in a variety of cellular activities, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. The induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (PTGS2/COX2) by this cytokine in the central nervous system (CNS) is found to contribute to inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. This gene and eight other interleukin 1 family genes form a cytokine gene cluster on chromosome 2.