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Immunol Today. 1994 Jun;15(6):281-7.

Chemokine receptors and molecular mimicry.

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Laboratory of Host Defenses, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Chemokines are small pro-inflammatory peptides that are best known for their leukocyte-chemoattractant activity. The cloned leukocyte chemokine receptors, interleukin 8 receptor (IL-8R) types A and B and the macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha)/RANTES receptor, are related by sequence and chemokine binding to two herpesvirus products, and to the Duffy antigen that mediates erythrocyte invasion by the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium vivax. Here, Sunil Ahuja, Ji-Liang Gao and Philip Murphy suggest that, in addition to the activation of leukocytes, chemokines may be important in the function of erythrocytes and, through molecular mimicry, in microbial pathogenesis.

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