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

Molecular piracy of mammalian interleukin-8 receptor type B by herpesvirus saimiri.

Viruses are known to acquire and modify the genes of their hosts to attain a survival advantage in the host environment. Herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) is a T-lymphotropic virus that causes fatal lymphoproliferative diseases in several non-human primates. The gene ECRF3 of HVS was most likely acquired from a primate host. ECRF3 encodes a putative seven-transmembrane-domain receptor that is remotely related (approximately 30% amino acid identity) to the known mammalian alpha and beta chemokine receptors, namely interleukin-8 receptor (IL8R) types A and B and the MIP-1 alpha/RANTES receptor, respectively. Chemokines regulate the trafficking, activation, and, in some cases, proliferation of myeloid and lymphoid cell types. We now show that ECRF3 encodes a functional receptor for the alpha chemokines IL-8, GRO/melanoma growth stimulatory activity (MGSA), and NAP-2 but not for beta chemokines, a specificity identical to that of IL8RB. Paradoxically, IL8RA shares 77% amino acid identity with IL8RB but is not a receptor for GRO/MGSA or NAP-2. This is the first functional characterization of a viral seven-transmembrane-domain receptor. It suggests a novel role for alpha chemokines in the pathogenesis of HVS infection by transmembrane signaling via the product of ECRF3.[1]


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