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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Tat protein is an HIV-1- encoded beta-chemokine homolog that promotes migration and up-regulates CCR3 expression on human Fc epsilon RI+ cells.

Human basophils and mast cells express the chemokine receptor CCR3, which binds the chemokines eotaxin and RANTES. HIV-1 Tat protein is a potent chemoattractant for basophils and lung mast cells obtained from healthy individuals seronegative for Abs to HIV-1 and HIV-2. Tat protein induced a rapid and transient Ca(2+) influx in basophils and mast cells, analogous to beta-chemokines. Tat protein neither induced histamine release from human basophils and mast cells nor increased IL-3-stimulated histamine secretion from basophils. The chemotactic activity of Tat protein was blocked by preincubation of FcepsilonRI(+) cells with anti-CCR3 Ab. Preincubation of Tat with a mAb anti-Tat (aa 1-86) blocked the migration induced by Tat. In contrast, a mAb specific for the basic region (aa 46-60) did not inhibit the chemotactic effect of Tat protein. Tat protein or eotaxin desensitized basophils to a subsequent challenge with the autologous or the heterologous stimulus. Preincubation of basophils with Tat protein up-regulated the level of CCR3 mRNA and the surface expression of the CCR3 receptor. Tat protein is the first identified HIV-1- encoded beta-chemokine homologue that influences the directional migration of human FcepsilonRI(+) cells and the expression of surface receptor CCR3 on these cells.[1]


  1. Tat protein is an HIV-1-encoded beta-chemokine homolog that promotes migration and up-regulates CCR3 expression on human Fc epsilon RI+ cells. de Paulis, A., De Palma, R., Di Gioia, L., Carfora, M., Prevete, N., Tosi, G., Accolla, R.S., Marone, G. J. Immunol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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