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Post-translational control of chemokines: a role for decoy receptors?

Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories, The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Garscube Estate, Switchback Road, Glasgow G61 1BD, UK.
Immunology Letters (Impact Factor: 2.37). 02/2005; 96(2):163-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.imlet.2004.08.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is well-established that chemokines play a critical role in the orchestration of inflammation and immunity. Interactions between chemokines and their receptors are essential for the homing of specific subsets of leukocytes to their functional microenvironments. They also influence other diverse biological processes such as development, leukocyte activation, Th1/Th2 polarisation, tumour metastasis, angiogenesis, and HIV pathogenesis. However, despite their importance, only now are we beginning to understand the complex regulation brought to bear on these molecules. In this review, we discuss a number of these key chemokine regulators that exert their influence once these proteins have been synthesised. We examine (i) chemokine storage, release, and presentation, (ii) protease regulation, (iii) viral manipulation of host chemokines, and (iv) natural mammalian receptor antagonists. Principally, the growing evidence for a role for decoy receptors in the chemokine system is discussed. In particular, the potential decoy function of the 'silent' pro-inflammatory chemokine receptor D6 is described alongside two other candidate decoy receptor molecules, DARC, and CCX-CKR. Dissecting the biological and pathological function of these chemokine controllers will lead to a deeper understanding of chemokine regulation, and may reveal novel strategies to therapeutically modify the chemokine system.

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