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

Identification and characterization of U83A viral chemokine, a broad and potent beta-chemokine agonist for human CCRs with unique selectivity and inhibition by spliced isoform.

Leukotropic human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) establishes a persistent infection associated with inflammatory diseases and encodes chemokines that could chemoattract leukocytes for infection or inflammation. HHV-6 variant A encodes a distant chemokine homolog, U83A, and a polymorphism promoting a secreted form was identified. U83A and three N-terminal modifications were expressed and purified, and activities were compared with a spliced truncated isoform, U83A-Npep. U83A efficiently and potently induced calcium mobilization in cells expressing single human CCR1, CCR4, CCR6, or CCR8, with EC50 values <10 nM. U83A also induced chemotaxis of Th2-like leukemic cells expressing CCR4 and CCR8. High-affinity binding, 0.4 nM, was demonstrated to CCR1 and CCR5 on monocytic/macrophage cells, and pretreatment with U83A or modified forms could block responses for endogenous ligands. U83A-Npep acted only as antagonist, efficiently blocking binding of CCL3 to CCR1 or CCR5 on differentiated monocytic/macrophage leukemic cells. Furthermore, CCL3 induction of calcium signaling via CCR1 and CCL1 induced chemotaxis via CCR8 in primary human leukocytes was inhibited. Thus, this blocking by the early expressed U83A-Npep could mediate immune evasion before finishing the replicative cycle. However, late in infection, when full-length U83A is made, chemoattraction of CCR1-, CCR4-, CCR5-, CCR6-, and CCR8-bearing monocytic/macrophage, dendritic, and T lymphocyte cells can facilitate dissemination via lytic and latent infection of these cells. This has further implications for neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, where both cells bearing CCR1/CCR5 plus their ligands, as well as HHV-6A, have been linked. Applications also discussed include novel vaccines/immunotherapeutics for cancer and HIV as well as anti-inflammatories.[1]


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