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Blood. 2000 Feb 15;95(4):1151-7.

KSHV-encoded CC chemokine vMIP-III is a CCR4 agonist, stimulates angiogenesis, and selectively chemoattracts TH2 cells.

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ICOS Corporation, Bothell, WA 98021, USA.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes 3 genes that are homologous to cellular chemokines. vMIP-III, the product of open reading frame K4.1, is the most distantly related to human chemokines and has yet to be characterized. We have examined the interaction of vMIP-III with chemokine receptors, its expression in KS lesions, and its in ovo angiogenic properties. We show expression of vMIP-III in KS lesions and demonstrate the stimulation of angiogenesis by this chemokine, like vMIP-I and vMIP-II, in the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. vMIP-III does not block human immunodeficiency virus entry through the coreceptors CCR3, CCR5, or CXCR4. However, vMIP-III is an agonist for the cellular chemokine receptor CCR4. CCR4 is expressed by TH2-type T cells. Consistent with this, vMIP-III preferentially chemoattracts this cell type. Because of these biologic properties and because it is expressed in KS lesions, vMIP-III may play an important role in the pathobiology of KS. (Blood. 2000;95:1151-1157).

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