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Br J Pharmacol. 2015 Aug;172(16):3945-9. doi: 10.1111/bph.13182. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

An atypical addition to the chemokine receptor nomenclature: IUPHAR Review 15.

Author information

  • 1INSERM UMR-S996, Laboratory of Excellence in Research on Medication and Innovative Therapeutics, Universit√© Paris-Sud, Clamart, France.
  • 2Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
  • 3Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
  • 4Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milano, Italy.
  • 5Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
  • 6Medical Research Council Centre for Immune Regulation, Institute of Biomedical Research, School of Infection and Immunity, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
  • 7Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
  • 8Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


Chemokines and their receptors are essential regulators of in vivo leukocyte migration and, some years ago, a systematic nomenclature system was developed for the chemokine receptor family. Chemokine receptor biology and biochemistry was recently extensively reviewed. In this review, we also highlighted a new component to the nomenclature system that incorporates receptors previously known as 'scavenging', or 'decoy', chemokine receptors on the basis of their lack of classical signalling responses to ligand binding and their general ability to scavenge, or sequester, their cognate chemokine ligands. These molecules are now collectively referred to as 'atypical chemokine receptors', or ACKRs, and play fundamental roles in regulating in vivo responses to chemokines. This commentary highlights this new addition to the chemokine receptor nomenclature system and provides brief information on the four receptors currently covered by this nomenclature.

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