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J Leukoc Biol. 1993 Dec;54(6):604-12.

Chemokines and serpentines: the molecular biology of chemokine receptors.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Maryland 21702.


Chemokines are pro-inflammatory molecules with a diverse array of biological and biochemical functions. These molecules induce the migration of a number of leukocyte subsets including monocytes, neutrophils, and T-cells. The recent cloning of the IL-8, GRO, and MIP-1 alpha chemokine receptors revealed that these glycoproteins belong to the serpentine family of seven transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors. Other members of this family include the chemotactic receptors for fMLP and C5a, indicating that a common pathway for eliciting the directional migration of leukocytes is probably transduced via G proteins. Ligand binding to chemokine receptors is complex, featured by multiple chemokines binding to a single receptor and multiple receptors binding a specific ligand. Future directions in this field appear to be focused on the cloning of novel receptors and the identification of ligands for orphaned receptors.

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