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J Virol. 2014 Jan;88(1):292-302. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02330-13. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Cytomegalovirus expresses the chemokine homologue vXCL1 capable of attracting XCR1+ CD4- dendritic cells.

Author information

1
Virology, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Cytomegaloviruses (CMV) have developed various strategies to escape the immune system of the host. One strategy involves the expression of virus-encoded chemokines to modulate the host chemokine network. We have identified in the English isolate of rat CMV (murid herpesvirus 8 [MuHV8]) an open reading frame encoding a protein homologous to the chemokine XCL1, the only known C chemokine. Viral XCL1 (vXCL1), a glycosylated protein of 96 amino acids, can be detected 13 h postinfection in the supernatant of MuHV8-infected rat embryo fibroblasts. vXCL1 exclusively binds to CD4(-) rat dendritic cells (DC), a subset of DC that express the corresponding chemokine receptor XCR1. Like endogenous rat XCL1, vXCL1 selectively chemoattracts XCR1(+) CD4(-) DC. Since XCR1(+) DC in mice and humans have been shown to excel in antigen cross-presentation and thus in the induction of cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes, the virus has apparently hijacked this gene to subvert cytotoxic immune responses. The biology of vXCL1 offers an interesting opportunity to study the role of XCL1 and XCR1(+) DC in the cross-presentation of viral antigens.

PMID:
24155383
PMCID:
PMC3911744
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.02330-13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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