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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jun 6;272(23):14893-8.

Identification of CCR6, the specific receptor for a novel lymphocyte-directed CC chemokine LARC.

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Shionogi Institute for Medical Science, 2-5-1 Mishima, Settsu-shi, Osaka 566, Japan.


Liver and activation-regulated chemokine (LARC) is a recently identified CC chemokine that is expressed mainly in the liver. LARC functions as a selective chemoattractant for lymphocytes that express a class of receptors specifically binding to LARC with high affinity. To identifiy the receptor for LARC, we examined LARC-induced calcium mobilization in cells stably expressing five CC chemokine receptors (CCR1-CCR5) and five orphan seven-transmembrane receptors. LARC specifically induced calcium flux in K562 cells as well as 293/EBNA-1 cells stably expressing an orphan receptor GPR-CY4. LARC induced migration in 293/EBNA-1 cells stably expressing GPR-CY4 with a bi-modal dose-response curve. LARC fused with secreted alkaline phosphatase (LARC-SEAP) bound specifically to Raji cells stably expressing GPR-CY4 with a Kd of 0.9 nM. Only LARC but not five other CC chemokines (MCP-1, RANTES, MIP-1alpha, MIP-1beta, and TARC) competed with LARC-SEAP for binding to GPR-CY4. By Northern blot analysis, GPR-CY4 mRNA was expressed mainly in spleen, lymph nodes, Appendix, and fetal liver among various human tissues. Among various leukocyte subsets, GPR-CY4 mRNA was detected in lymphocytes (CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and B cells) but not in natural killer cells, monocytes, or granulocytes. Expression of GPR-CY4 mRNA in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells was strongly up-regulated by IL-2. Taken together, GPR-CY4 is the specific receptor for LARC expressed selectively on lymphocytes, and LARC is a unique functional ligand for GPR-CY4. We propose GPR-CY4 to be designated as CCR6.

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