Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Cell Res. 2011 Mar 10;317(5):590-601. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2011.01.004. Epub 2011 Jan 9.

Chemokine oligomerization and interactions with receptors and glycosaminoglycans: the role of structural dynamics in function.

Author information

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0684, USA.


The first chemokine structure, that of IL-8/CXCL8, was determined in 1990. Since then, many chemokine structures have emerged. To the initial disappointment of structural biologists, the tertiary structures of these small proteins were found to be highly conserved. However, they have since proven to be much more interesting and diverse than originally expected. Somewhat like lego blocks, many chemokines oligomerize and there is significant diversity in their oligomeric forms and propensity to oligomerize. Chemokines not only interact with receptors where different oligomeric forms can induce different signaling responses, they also interact with glycosaminoglycans which can stabilize oligomers and other structures that would not otherwise form in solution. Although chemokine monomers and dimers yielded quickly to structure determination, structural information about larger chemokine oligomers, chemokines receptors, and complexes of chemokines with glycosaminoglycans and receptors has been more difficult to obtain, but recent breakthroughs suggest that this information will be forthcoming, especially with receptor structures. Equally important and challenging, will be efforts to correlate the structural information with function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center