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Biochem J. 1996 Jan 15;313 ( Pt 2):633-40.

Site-directed mutagenesis of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 identifies two regions of the polypeptide essential for biological activity.

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  • 1Neurobiotechnology Center, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) mediates monocyte migration into tissues in inflammatory diseases and atherosclerosis. We have investigated structure-activity relationships for human MCP-1. Mutations were introduced based upon differences between MCP-1 and the structurally related but functionally distinct molecule interleukin-8 (IL-8). Mutant proteins produced using the baculovirus/insect cell expression system were purified and their ability to stimulate monocyte chemotaxis and elevation of intracellular calcium in THP-1 monocytic leukaemia cells was measured. Two regions in MCP-1 were identified as important for its biological activity. One region consists of the sequence Thr-Cys-Cys-Tyr (amino acids 10-13). Point mutations of Thr-10 to Arg and Tyr-13 to Ile greatly lowered MCP-1 activity. The second functionally important region is formed by Ser-34 and Lys-35. Insertion of a Pro between these two residues, or their substitution by the sequence Gly-Pro-His, caused nearly complete loss of MCP-1 activity. Competition binding experiments showed that the mutations that affected activity also lowered the ability to compete with wild-type MCP-1 for receptors on THP-1 cells. Point mutations at positions 8, 15, 30, 37, 38 and 68 had little effect on MCP-1 activity. The important regions that we have identified in MCP-1 correspond with previously identified functionally important regions of IL-8, suggesting that the two molecules bind to their respective receptors by similar contacts.

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