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Chemokines 

Chemokines

Chapter:
Nomenclature
Author(s):

Harriet S. Meyer

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Chemokines

Chemokines comprise a family of about 40 low-molecular-weight cytokines (see 15.8.4, Cytokines) with important roles in the immune system, as well as functions beyond it.1-5 The name chemokine, a contraction of “chemotactic cytokine,” reflects the common property, by which chemokines were originally identified, of promoting leukocyte chemotaxis.

Chemokines are classified into 4 subfamilies, based on their cysteine (C) residues and other amino-acid (X) residues (see 15.6.1, Genetics, Nucleic Acids and Amino Acids):

CXC

1 amino-acid residue between the 2 N-terminal cysteines

CC

N-terminal cysteines adjacent

XC

cysteines 1 and 3 not present

CX3C

3 amino acids between the cysteine residues

Examples of specific chemokines, by subfamily, are shown below:

Subfamily Name

Synonym

Examples5

Receptors

Systematic Name

Common Names and Abbreviation

CXC

α class

CXCL1

growth-related oncogene α (GRO-α), melanoma growth stimulatory activity protein (MGSA)

CXCR2

CXCL4

platelet factor 4 (see 15.7, Hemostasis)

CXCL5

epithelial cell-derived neutrophil attractant 78 (ENA-78)

CXCR2

CXCL6

granulocyte chemoattractant protein 2 (GCP-2)

CXCR1, CXCR2

CXCL8

interleukin 8 (IL-8) (see 15.8.4, Cytokines)

CXCR1, CXCR2

CXCL14

chemokine isolated from breast and kidney tissue (BRAK), bolekine

CC

β class

CCL1

inducible 309 (I-309)

CCR8

CCL3

macrophage inflammatory protein 1a or 1α (MIP-1α)

CCR1, CCR5

CCL5

regulated on activation of normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES)

CCR1, CCR3, CCR5 (also called CD195; see 15.8.2, CD Cell Markers)

CCL7

monocyte chemoattractant (or chemo-tactic) protein 3 (MCP-3)

CCR1, CCR2, CCR3

CCL21

secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC), chemokine β-9 (CKβ-9), exodus 2, 6Ckine

CCR7 (also called CDw107; see 15.8.2, CD Cell Markers)

XC

γ class

XCL1

lymphotactin, activation-induced, T-cell-derived, and chemokine-related (ATAC), single cysteine motif 1α (SCM-1α)

XCR1

XCL2

SCM-1β

XCR1

CX3C

δ class

CX3CL1

fractalkine

CX3CR1

Expanded common names of the chemokines are often unwieldy and uninformative and so are rarely used, though use of the abbreviations persists. Terms such as those in the tabulation above for chemokine, chemokine subfamily, and chemokine receptor do not need to be expanded, but context should provided at first mention, eg:

the CXC chemokine family

the chemokine CXCL1

chemokine receptor CXCR2

A useful reference on chemokines is the Cytokine Family Database (dbCFC): http://cytokine.medic.kumamoto-u.ac.jp.6

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