In models of acute lung injury, CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) mediates migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) into the lung. Since CXCR2 ligands, including CXCL1 and CXCL2/3, are chemotactic for PMNs, CXCR2 is thought to recruit PMNs by inducing chemotactic migration. In a model of PMN recruitment to the lung, aerosolized bacterial LPS inhalation induced PMN recruitment to the lung in wild-type mice, but not in littermate CXCR2–/– mice. Surprisingly, lethally irradiated wild-type mice reconstituted with CXCR2–/– BM still showed about 50% PMN recruitment into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and into lung interstitium, but CXCR2–/– mice reconstituted with CXCR2–/– BM showed no PMN recruitment. Conversely, CXCR2–/– mice reconstituted with wild-type BM showed a surprisingly large defect in PMN recruitment, inconsistent with a role of CXCR2 on PMNs alone. Cell culture, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and real-time RT-PCR were used to show expression of CXCR2 on pulmonary endothelial and bronchial epithelial cells. The LPS-induced increase in lung microvascular permeability as measured by Evans blue extravasation required CXCR2 on nonhematopoietic cells. Our data revealed what we believe to be a previously unrecognized role of endothelial and epithelial CXCR2 in LPS-induced PMN recruitment and lung injury.
L. braziliensis causes cutaneous (CL) and mucosal (ML) leishmaniasis. Wound healing neutrophil (PMN) and macrophage responses made following the bite of the vector sand fly contribute to disease progression in mice. To look at the interplay between PMN and macrophages in disease progression in humans we asked whether polymorphisms at genes that regulate their infiltration or function are associated with different clinical phenotypes. Specifically, CXCR1 (IL8RA) and CXCR2 (IL8RB) are receptors for chemokines that attract PMN to inflammatory sites. They lie 30-260 kb upstream of SLC11A1, a gene known primarily for its role in regulating macrophage activation, resistance to leishmaniasis, and wound healing responses in mice, but also known to be expressed in PMN, macrophages and dendritic cells.
Polymorphic variants at CXCR1, CXCR2 and SLC11A1 were analysed using Taqman or ABI fragment separation technologies in cases (60 CL; 60 ML), unrelated controls (n = 120), and multicase families (104 nuclear families; 88 ML, 250 CL cases) from Brazil. Logistic regression analysis, family-based association testing (FBAT) and haplotype analysis (TRANSMIT) were performed.
Case-control analysis showed association between the common C allele (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.23-4.57; P = 0.009) of CXCR1_rs2854386 and CL, supported by family-based (FBAT; Z score 2.002; P = 0.045) analysis (104 nuclear families; 88 ML, 250 CL cases). ML associated with the rarer G allele (Z score 1.999; P = 0.046). CL associated with a 3' insertion/deletion polymorphism at SLC11A1 (Z score 2.549; P = 0.011).
The study supports roles for CXCR1 and SLC11A1 in the outcome of L. braziliensis infection in humans. Slc11a1 does not influence cutaneous lesion development following needle injection of Leishmania in mice, suggesting that its role here might relate to the action of PMN, macrophage and/or dendritic cells in the wound healing response to the sand fly bite. Together with the CXCR1 association, the data are consistent with hypotheses relating to the possible role of PMN in initiation of a lesion following the delivery of parasites via the sand fly bite. Association of ML with the rare derived G allele suggests that PMN also have an important positive role to play in preventing this form of the disease.
In mice, differential regulation of CXC chemokine receptor expression in circulating polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) undergoing senescence results in homing to the bone marrow. However, the role of this compartment and of the chemokine receptor
CXCR4 is still under discussion, and only scarce data exist about CXCR4 function in
human PMN. In our study, we provide evidence that also in human neutrophils, expression
(cell surface and mRNA), chemotactic and signaling functions of the homing-related
chemokine receptor CXCR4 are upregulated during aging in vitro, independent of addition
of stimulatory cytokines (TNF, IL-1, IL-8, G-CSF). In contrast, interleukin-8 receptors are
downmodulated (CXCR2) or remain unchanged (CXCR1), suggesting that human PMNs
undergoing senescence acquire a phenotype that impairs inflammatory extravasation and
favors homing to the bone marrow or other tissues involved in sequestration. Partially
retained responsiveness to interleukin-8 may be important for neutrophil function when
senescence occurs after extravasation in inflamed tissues.
The ELR+ CXC chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL2 are up-regulated in the central nervous system (CNS) during multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, their functional significance and the pathways regulating their expression are largely unknown. We show that transfer of encephalitogenic CD4+ Th17 cells is sufficient to induce CXCL1 and CXCL2 transcription in the spinal cords of naive, syngeneic recipients. Blockade or genetic silencing of CXCR2, a major receptor for these chemokines in mice, abrogates blood–brain barrier (BBB) breakdown, CNS infiltration by leukocytes, and the development of clinical deficits during the presentation as well as relapses of EAE. Depletion of circulating polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) had a similar therapeutic effect. Furthermore, injection of CXCR2+ PMN into CXCR2−/− mice was sufficient to restore susceptibility to EAE. Our findings reveal that a Th17–ELR+ CXC chemokine pathway is critical for granulocyte mobilization, BBB compromise, and the clinical manifestation of autoimmune demyelination in myelin peptide–sensitized mice, and suggest new therapeutic targets for diseases such as MS.
SLC11A1 has pleiotropic effects on macrophage function and remains a strong candidate for infectious disease susceptibility. 5' and/or 3' polymorphisms have been associated with tuberculosis, leprosy, and visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Most studies undertaken to date were under-powered, and none has been replicated within a population. Association with tuberculosis has replicated variably across populations. Here we investigate SLC11A1 and VL in India.
Nine polymorphisms (rs34448891, rs7573065, rs2276631, rs3731865, rs17221959, rs2279015, rs17235409, rs17235416, rs17229009) that tag linkage disequilibrium blocks across SLC11A1 were genotyped in primary family-based (313 cases; 176 families) and replication (941 cases; 992 controls) samples. Family- and population-based analyses were performed to look for association between SLC11A1 variants and VL. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare SLC11A1 expression in mRNA from paired splenic aspirates taken before and after treatment from 24 VL patients carrying different genotypes at the functional promoter GTn polymorphism (rs34448891).
No associations were observed between VL and polymorphisms at SLC11A1 that were either robust to correction for multiple testing or replicated across primary and replication samples. No differences in expression of SLC11A1 were observed when comparing pre- and post-treatment samples, or between individuals carrying different genotypes at the GTn repeat.
This is the first well-powered study of SLC11A1 as a candidate for VL, which we conclude does not have a major role in regulating VL susceptibility in India.
SLC11A1; visceral leishmaniasis; genetic susceptibility
CXCL12/stromal cell-derived factor 1 is a member of the CXC family of chemokines that plays an important role in hematopoiesis and signals through CXCR4 and CXCR7. Two splice variants of human CXCL12 (CXCL12α and CXCL12β) induce chemotaxis of CXCR4+ cells and inhibit X4 infection. Recent studies described four other novel splice variants of human CXCL12; however, their antiviral activities were not investigated. We constructed and expressed all of the CXCL12 splice variants in Escherichia coli. Recombinant proteins were purified through a His affinity column, and their biological properties were analyzed. All six CXCL12 variants induced chemotaxis of CXCR4+ and CXCR7+ cell lines. Enhancement of survival and replating capacity of human hematopoietic progenitor cells were observed with CXCL12α, CXCL12β, and CXCL12ɛ but not with the other variants. CXCL12γ showed the greatest antiviral activity in X4 inhibition assays and the weakest chemotaxis activity through CXCR4. The order of potency in X4 inhibition assays was as follows: CXCL12γ > CXCL12β > CXCL12α > CXCL12θ > CXCL12ɛ > CXCL12δ. The order of anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity was associated with the number of BBXB motifs present in each variant; the most potent inhibitor was CXCL12γ, with five BBXB domains. The results suggest that the different C termini of CXCL12 variants may contain important molecular determinants for the observed differences in antiviral effects and other biological functions. These studies implicate CXCL12γ as a potent HIV-1 entry inhibitor with significantly reduced chemotaxis activity and small or absent effects on progenitor cell survival or replating capacity, providing important insight into the structure-function relationships of CXCL12.
The migration of neutrophils through infected tissues is mediated by the CXC chemokines and its receptors (CXCR1 and CXCR2). It has been proposed that a CXCR1 deficiency could confer susceptibility to acute pyelonephritis in children. The objective of the study is to assess the surface expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 and the existence of polymorphisms in the CXCR1 gene in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections. The study included 20 premenopausal women with recurrent urinary infections, with normal urinary tracts, and without diseases potentially associated with relapsing urinary infections and 30 controls without previous urinary infections. The levels of CXCR1 and CXCR2 expression on neutrophils were measured and analyzed by flow cytometry by measuring the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) channel. The promoter and coding regions of the CXCR1 gene were analyzed for the presence of polymorphisms by a sequence-based typing method. Patients with recurrent urinary tract infections exhibited median levels of CXCR1 expression, determined from MFI values, similar to those of the controls. The analysis of CXCR2 showed that patients with recurrent urinary infections had lower median levels of expression, determined from the MFI values, than the controls (P = 0.002, Mann-Whitney U test). No polymorphisms were detected at the promoter or at the exon 1 region of the CXCR1 gene either in the patients or in the controls. Polymorphisms were detected at the exon 2 of CXCR1, but their frequencies did not differ between patients and controls. We have found a low level of CXCR2 expression in patients with recurrent urinary tract infections. These results suggest that a low level of CXCR2 expression may increase the susceptibilities of premenopausal women to urinary tract infections.
In pulmonary inflammation, recruitment of circulating polymorphonuclear leukocytes is essential for host defense and initiates the following specific immune response. One pathological hallmark of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome is the uncontrolled transmigration of neutrophils into the lung interstitium and alveolar space. Thereby, the extravasation of leukocytes from the vascular system into the tissue is induced by chemokines that are released from the site of inflammation. The most relevant chemokine receptors of neutrophils are CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR) 1 and CXCR2. CXCR2 is of particular interest since several studies implicate a pivotal role of this receptor in development and promotion of numerous inflammatory disorders. CXCR2 gets activated by ELR+ chemokines, including MIP-2, KC (rodents) and IL-8 (human). Since multiple ELR+ CXC chemokines act on both receptors—CXCR1 and CXCR2—a pharmacologic agent blocking both receptors seems to be advantageous. So far, several CXCR1/2 antagonists have been developed and have been tested successfully in experimental studies. A newly designed CXCR1 and CXCR2 antagonist can be orally administered and was for the first time found efficient in humans. This review highlights the role of CXCR2 in acute lung injury and discusses its potential as a therapeutic target.
The CXCR4/CXCL12 pathway has recently been reported to be involved in stimulating the metastasis of many different neoplasms, in which CXCR4 activates various phenomena such as chemotaxis, invasion, angiogenesis and proliferation. The purpose of this study was to analyze a possible association between the expression of chemokine receptors CXCR4, CCR6 and CCR7 with the clinicopathological features of cutaneous malignant melanoma, and to assess the usefulness of these chemokine receptors for diagnosis and prognosis. In our study, a percentage of immunoexpression of both CXCR4 and its ligands CXCL12 was associated with high clinical risk. In contrast, the patients with a low immunoexpression of CXCR4 and CXCL12 had low clinical risk. CCR6 and CCR7 immunoexpressions were also correlated with some clinical parameters, but seemed no more useful than CXCR4. These data suggest that the assessment of CXCR4 immunoexpression is a novel tool for predicting tumor aggressiveness in malignant melanomas, and in particular, a high immunoexpression percentage of CXCR4 and CXCL12 might be a sign of a poor prognosis.
chemokine; CXCR4; CXCL12; malignant melanoma; immunohistochemistry
Interleukin-8 (IL-8/CXCL-8) is a prototype of the ELR+CXC chemokines that play an important role in the promotion and progression of many human cancers including breast cancer. We have recently showed the implication of polymorphism (-251) T/A of IL-8 gene in the susceptibility and prognosis of breast carcinoma. IL-8 acts through its CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptors. CXCR2, expressed on the endothelial cells, is the receptor involved in mediating the angiogenic effects of ELR+CXC chemokines and in particular IL-8.
In the current study, we investigated the susceptibility and prognostic implications of the genetic variation in CXCR2 in breast carcinoma. We also confirmed the implication of IL-8 (-251) T/A polymorphism in a larger cohort. Finally, we combined the IL-8 and CXCR2 variant alleles and analyzed their effects in breast cancer risk and prognosis.
We used the allele-specific polymerase chain reaction to characterize the variation of IL-8 and CXCR2 for 409 unrelated Tunisian patients with breast carcinoma and 301 healthy control subjects. To estimate the relative risks, Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using unconditional logistic regression after adjusting for the known risk factors for breast cancer. Associations of the genetic marker with the rates of breast carcinoma-specific overall survival and disease-free survival were assessed using univariate and multivariate analyses.
A highly significant association was found between the homozygous CXCR2 (+ 1208) TT genotype (adjusted OR = 2.89; P = 0.008) and breast carcinoma. A significantly increased risk of breast carcinoma was associated with IL-8 (-251) A allele (adjusted OR = 1.86; P = 0.001). The presence of two higher risk genotypes (the TA and TT in IL-8, and the TT in CXCR2) significantly increased the risk of developing breast carcinoma (adjusted OR = 4.15; P = 0.0004).
The CXCR2 (+ 1208) T allele manifested a significant association with an aggressive phenotype of breast carcinoma as defined by a large tumor size, a high histological grade, and auxiliary's lymph node metastasis. A significant association between the IL-8 (-251) A allele and the aggressive form of breast carcinoma was also found.
Moreover, the presence of the IL-8 (-251) A and/or the CXCR2 (+ 1208) T allele showed a significant association with a decreased overall survival and disease-free survival in breast carcinoma patients.
Our results indicated that the polymorphisms in IL-8 and CXCR2 genes are associated with increased breast cancer risk, as well as disease progress, supporting our hypothesis for IL-8 and ELR+CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR2) involvement in breast cancer pathogenesis.
Chemokines, a group of small and structurally related proteins, mediate chemotaxis of various cell types via chemokine receptors. In mammals, seven different CXC chemokine receptors denoted as CXCR1 to CXCR7 have been reported. However, the chemokine receptor CXCR5 has not been reported in other vertebrates.
In the present study, the genomic sequence of CXCR5 was isolated from the grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella. The cDNA sequence of grass carp CXCR5 (gcCXCR5) consists of 1518 bp with a 43 bp 5' untranslated region (UTR) and a 332 bp 3' UTR, with an open reading frame of 1143 bp encoding 381 amino acids which are predicted to have seven transmembrane helices. The characteristic residues (DRYLAIVHA) and conserved cysteine residues are located in the extracellular regions and in the third to seventh transmembrane domains. The deduced amino acid sequence shows 37.6-66.6% identities with CXCR5 of mammals, avian and other fish species. The grass carp gene consists of two exons, with one intervening intron, spaced over 2081 bp of genomic sequence. Phylogenetic analysis clearly demonstrated that the gcCXCR5 is clustered with those in other teleost fish and then in chicken and mammals. Real-time PCR analysis showed that gcCXCR5 was expressed in all tested organs/tissues and its expression level was the highest in trunk kidney, followed by in the spleen. The expression of gcCXCR5 was significantly modulated by immunostimulants such as peptidoglycan (PGN), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid sodium salt (Poly I:C) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA).
The cDNA and genomic sequences of CXCR5 have been successfully characterized in a teleost fish, the grass carp. The CXCR5 has in general a constitutive expression in organs/tissues examined, whereas its expression was significantly up-regulated in immune organs and down-regulated in brain, indicating its potential role in immune response and central nervous system.
The CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) contributes to the metastasis of human breast cancer cells. The CXCR4 COOH-terminal domain (CTD) seems to play a major role in regulating receptor desensitization and down-regulation. We expressed either wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4-WT) or CTD-truncated CXCR4 (CXCR4-ΔCTD) in MCF-7 human mammary carcinoma cells to determine whether the CTD is involved in CXCR4-modulated proliferation of mammary carcinoma cells. CXCR4-WT-transduced MCF-7 cells (MCF-7/CXCR4-WT cells) do not differ from vector-transduced MCF-7 control cells in morphology or growth rate. However, CXCR4-ΔCTD-transduced MCF-7 cells (MCF-7/CXCR4-ΔCTD cells) exhibit a higher growth rate and altered morphology, potentially indicating an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation and cell motility are increased in these cells. Ligand induces receptor association with β-arrestin for both CXCR4-WT and CXCR4-ΔCTD in these MCF-7 cells. Overexpressed CXCR4-WT localizes predominantly to the cell surface in unstimulated cells, whereas a significant portion of overexpressed CXCR4-ΔCTD resides intracellularly in recycling endosomes. Analysis with human oligomicroarray, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry showed that E-cadherin and Zonula occludens are down-regulated in MCF-7/CXCR4-ΔCTD cells. The array analysis also indicates that mesenchymal marker proteins and certain growth factor receptors are up-regulated in MCF-7/CXCR4-ΔCTD cells. These observations suggest that (a) the overexpression of CXCR4-ΔCTD leads to a gain-of-function of CXCR4-mediated signaling and (b) the CTD of CXCR4-WT may perform a feedback repressor function in this signaling pathway. These data will contribute to our understanding of how CXCR4-ΔCTD may promote progression of breast tumors to metastatic lesions.
CXCR7 is a receptor for chemokines including CXCL12 (SDF-1), a molecule that promotes tumor growth and metastasis in breast cancer and other malignancies. Building upon the recent observation that CXCR7 sequesters CXCL12, we investigated mechanisms for CXCR7-dependent uptake of chemokines. Breast cancer cells expressing CXCR7 accumulated chemokines CXCL12 and CXC11 present at concentrations < 1 ng/ml, unlike cells expressing CXCR4. CXCR7-dependent accumulation of chemokines was reduced by inhibitors of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Following CXCR7-mediated internalization, CXCL12 trafficked to lysosomes and was degraded, although levels of CXCR7 remained stable. CXCR7 reduced CXCL12 in the extracellular space, limiting amounts of chemokine available to acutely stimulate signaling through CXCR4. CXCR7 constitutively internalized and recycled to the cell membrane even in the absence of ligand, and addition of chemokines did not significantly enhance receptor internalization. Chemokines at concentrations less than the Kd for ligand-receptor binding did not alter levels of CXCR7 at the cell surface. Higher concentrations of chemokine ligands reduced total cell surface expression of CXCR7 without affecting receptor internalization, indicating that receptor recycling was inhibited. CXCR7-dependent uptake of chemokines and receptor trafficking were regulated by β-arrestin 2. These studies establish mechanisms through which CXCR7 regulates availability of chemokine ligands in the extracellular space.
breast cancer; chemokines; chemokine receptors; bioluminescence imaging; luciferase; protein fragment complementation
CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) has been shown to play a critical role in chemotaxis and homing, which are key steps in cancer metastasis. There is also increasing evidence that links this receptor to angiogenesis; however, its molecular basis remains elusive. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the major angiogenic factors, promotes the formation of leaky tumor vasculatures that are the hallmarks of tumor progression. Here, we investigated whether CXCR4 induces the expression of VEGF through the PI3K/Akt pathway. Our results showed that CXCR4/CXCL12 induced Akt phosphorylation, which resulted in upregulation of VEGF at both the mRNA and protein levels. Conversely, blocking the activation of Akt signaling led to a decrease in VEGF protein levels; blocking CXCR4/CXCL12 interaction with a CXCR4 antagonist suppressed tumor angiogenesis and growth in vivo. Furthermore, VEGF mRNA levels correlated well with CXCR4 mRNA levels in patient tumor samples. In summary, our study demonstrates that the CXCR4/CXCL12 signaling axis can induce angiogenesis and progression of tumors by increasing expression of VEGF through the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway. Our findings suggest that targeting CXCR4 could provide a potential new anti-angiogenic therapy to suppress the formation of both primary and metastatic tumors.
CXCR2 is a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that binds the CXC chemokines, CXCL1–3 and CXCL5–8, and induces intra-cellular signals associated with chemotaxis. Many adaptor proteins are actively involved in the sequestration, internalization, and trafficking of CXCR2 and transduction of agonist-induced intracellular signaling. We have previously shown that adaptor protein β-arrestin-2 (βarr2) plays a crucial role in transducing signals mediated through CXCR2. To further investigate the role of βarr2 on CXCR2-mediated signaling during acute inflammation, zymosan-induced neutrophils were isolated from peritoneal cavities of βarr2-deficient (βarr2−/−) and their wild-type (βarr2+/+) littermate mice, and neutrophil CXCR2 signaling activities were determined by measurement of Ca2+ mobilization, receptor internalization, GTPase activity, and superoxide anion production. The results showed that the deletion of βarr2 resulted in increased Ca2+ mobilization, superoxide anion production, and GTPase activity in neutrophils, but decreased receptor internalization relative to wild-type mice. Two animal models, the dorsal air pouch model and the excisional wound healing model, were used to further study the in vivo effects of βarr2 on CXCR2-mediated neutrophil chemotaxis and on cutaneous wound healing. Surprisingly, the recruitment of neutrophils was increased in response to CXCL1 in the air pouch model and in the excisional wound beds of βarr2−/− mice. Wound re-epithelialization was also significantly faster in βarr2−/− mice than in βarr2+/+ mice. Taken together, the data indicate that βarr2 is a negative regulator for CXCR2 in vivo signaling.
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) migrate into peripheral sites of inflammation such as allografts undergoing rejection, where they serve to suppress the immune response. In this study, we find that ~30–40% of human CD25hi FOXP3+ CD4+ Tregs express the peripheral CXC chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) and that this subset has potent immunoregulatory properties. Consistently, we observed that proliferative responses as well as IFN-γ production were significantly higher using CXCR3-depleted versus undepleted responders in the mixed lymphocyte reaction, as well as following mitogen-dependent activation of T cells. Using microfluidics, we also found that CXCR3 was functional on CXCR3pos Tregs, in as much as chemotaxis and directional persistence towards interferon-c-inducible protein of 10 kDa (IP-10) was significantly greater for CXCR3pos than CXCR3neg Tregs. Following activation, CXCR3-expressing CD4+ Tregs were maintained in vitro in cell culture in the presence of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor rapamycin, and we detected higher numbers of circulating CXCR3+ FOXP3+ T cells in adult and pediatric recipients of renal transplants who were treated with mTOR-inhibitor immunosuppressive therapy. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the peripheral homing receptor CXCR3 is expressed on subset(s) of circulating human Tregs and suggest a role for CXCR3 in their recruitment into peripheral sites of inflammation.
Chemokine receptors; Chemokines; CXCR3; Immunoregulation; Tregs
CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), a member of the G-protein-coupled chemokine receptor family, can serve as a co-receptor along with CD4 for entry into the cell of T-cell tropic X4 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains. Productive infection of T-lymphoblastoid cells by X4 HIV-1 markedly reduces cell-surface expression of CD4, but whether or not the co-receptor CXCR4 is down-regulated has not been conclusively determined.
Infection of human T-lymphoblastoid cell line RH9 with HIV-1 resulted in down-regulation of cell surface CXCR4 expression. Down-regulation of surface CXCR4 correlated temporally with the increase in HIV-1 protein expression. CXCR4 was concentrated in intracellular compartments in H9 cells after HIV-1 infection. Immunofluorescence microscopy studies showed that CXCR4 and HIV-1 glycoproteins were co-localized in HIV infected cells. Inducible expression of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins also resulted in down-regulation of CXCR4 from the cell surface.
These results indicated that cell surface CXCR4 was reduced in HIV-1 infected cells, whereas expression of another membrane antigen, CD3, was unaffected. CXCR4 down-regulation may be due to intracellular sequestering of HIV glycoprotein/CXCR4 complexes.
CXC chemokines mediate hepatic inflammation and injury following ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). More recently, signaling through CXC chemokine receptor-2 (CXCR2) was shown to delay liver recovery and repair after I/R injury. The chemokine receptor, CXCR1 shares ligands with CXCR2, yet nothing is known about its potential role in liver pathology. In the present study, we examined the role of CXCR1 in the injury and recovery responses to I/R using a murine model. CXCR1 expression was undetectable in livers of sham-operated mice. However, after ischemia CXCR1 expression increased 24 hours of reperfusion and was maximal after 96 hours of reperfusion. CXCR1 expression was localized largely to hepatocytes. In order to assess the function of CXCR1, CXCR2-/- mice were treated with the CXCR1/CXCR2 antagonist, repertaxin. Prophylactic treatment with repertaxin had no effect on acute inflammation or liver injury. However, when repertaxin was administered 24 hours post-reperfusion there was a significant increase in hepatocellular injury and a delay in recovery compared to control-treated mice. CXCR1-/- mice also demonstrated delayed recovery and regeneration after I/R when compared to wild-type mice. In vitro, hepatocytes from CXCR2-/- mice that were stimulated to express CXCR1 showed increased proliferation in response to ligand. Hepatocyte proliferation was decreased in CXCR1-/- mice in vivo.
This is the first report to show that CXCR1 expression is induced in hepatocytes after injury. Furthermore, the data suggest that CXCR1 has divergent effects from CXCR2 and appears to facilitate repair and regenerative responses after I/R injury.
chemokines; chemokine receptors; liver repair; hepatocyte proliferation; regeneration
CXCL8/interleukin-8 is a pro-inflammatory chemokine that triggers pleiotropic responses, including inflammation, angiogenesis, wound healing and tumorigenesis. We engineered the first selective CXCR1 agonists on the basis of residue substitutions in the conserved ELR triad and CXC motif of CXCL8. Our data reveal that the molecular mechanisms of activation of CXCR1 and CXCR2 are distinct: the N-loop of CXCL8 is the major determinant for CXCR1 activation, whereas the N-terminus of CXCL8 (ELR and CXC) is essential for CXCR2 activation. We also found that activation of CXCR1 cross-desensitized CXCR2 responses in human neutrophils co-expressing both receptors, indicating that these novel CXCR1 agonists represent a new class of anti-inflammatory agents. Further, these selective CXCR1 agonists will aid at elucidating the functional significance of CXCR1 in vivo under pathophysiological conditions.
The functional role of ELR-positive CXC chemokines in host defense during acute viral-induced encephalomyelitis was determined. Inoculation of the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) into the central nervous system (CNS) of mice resulted in the rapid mobilization of PMNs expressing the chemokine receptor CXCR2 into the blood. Migration of PMNs to the CNS coincided with increased expression of transcripts specific for the CXCR2 ELR-positive chemokine ligands CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL5 within the brain. Treatment of JHMV-infected mice with anti-CXCR2 blocking antibody reduced PMN trafficking into the CNS by >95%, dampened MMP-9 activity, and abrogated blood-brain-barrier (BBB) breakdown. Correspondingly, CXCR2 neutralization resulted in diminished infiltration of virus-specific T cells, an inability to control viral replication within the brain, and 100% mortality. Blocking CXCR2 signaling did not impair the generation of virus-specific T cells, indicating that CXCR2 is not required to tailor anti-JHMV T cell responses. Evaluation of mice in which CXCR2 is genetically silenced (CXCR2−/− mice) confirmed that PMNs neither expressed CXCR2 nor migrated in response to ligands CXCL1, CXCL2, or CXCL5 in an in vitro chemotaxis assay. Moreover, JHMV infection of CXCR2−/− mice resulted in an approximate 60% reduction of PMN migration into the CNS, yet these mice survived infection and controlled viral replication within the brain. Treatment of JHMV-infected CXCR2−/− mice with anti-CXCR2 antibody did not modulate PMN migration nor alter viral clearance or mortality, indicating the existence of compensatory mechanisms that facilitate sufficient migration of PMNs into the CNS in the absence of CXCR2. Collectively, these findings highlight a previously unappreciated role for ELR-positive chemokines in enhancing host defense during acute viral infections of the CNS.
Consequences of viral infection of the central nervous system (CNS) can range from encephalitis and paralytic poliomyelitis to relatively benign infections with limited clinical outcomes. The localized expression of proinflammatory chemokines within the CNS in response to viral infection has been shown to be important in host defense by attracting antigen-specific lymphocytes from the microvasculature into the parenchyma that control and eventually eliminate the replicating pathogen. However, the relationship between chemokine expression and recruitment of myeloid cells, e.g. neutrophils, to the CNS following infection with a neurotropic virus is not well characterized. Emerging evidence has indicated that the mobilization of neutrophils into the blood and recruitment to the CNS following microbial infection or injury contributes to permeabilization of the blood-brain-barrier that subsequently allows entry of inflammatory leukocytes. Therefore, we have defined the chemokines involved in promoting the directional migration of neutrophils to the CNS in response to viral infection. Using the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) as a model of acute viral encephalomyelitis, we demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for members of the ELR-positive CXC chemokine family in host defense by attracting PMNs bearing the receptor CXCR2 to the CNS in response to viral infection.
We identify matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-8, the polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocyte collagenase, as a critical mediator initiating lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-responsiveness in vivo. PMN infiltration towards LPS is abrogated in Mmp8-null mice. MMP-8 cleaves LPS-induced CXC chemokine (LIX) at Ser4∼Val5 and Lys79∼Arg80. LIX bioactivity is increased upon N-terminal cleavage, enhancing intracellular calcium mobilization and chemotaxis upon binding its cognate receptor, CXCR2. As there is no difference in PMN chemotaxis in Mmp8-null mice compared with wild-type mice towards synthetic analogues of MMP-8-cleaved LIX, MMP-8 is not essential for extravasation or cell migration in collagenous matrices in vivo. However, with biochemical redundancy between MMPs 1, 2, 9, and 13, which also cleave LIX at position 4∼5, it was surprising to observe such a markedly reduced PMN infiltration towards LPS and LIX in Mmp8-/- mice. This lack of physiological redundancy in vivo identifies MMP-8 as a key mediator in the regulation of innate immunity. Comparable results were found with CXCL8/IL-8 and CXCL5/ENA-78, the human orthologues of LIX. MMP-8 cleaves CXCL8 at Arg5-Ser6 and at Val7-Leu8 in CXCL5 to activate respective chemokines. Hence, rather than collagen, these PMN chemoattractants are important MMP-8 substrates in vivo; PMN-derived MMP-8 cleaves and activates LIX to execute an in cis PMN-controlled feed-forward mechanism to orchestrate the initial inflammatory response and promote LPS responsiveness in tissue.
Chromosome 6q26–27 is linked to susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil and Sudan. DLL1 encoding the Delta-like 1 ligand for Notch 3 was implicated as the etiological gene. DLL1 belongs to the family of Notch ligands known to selectively drive antigen-specific CD4 T helper 1 cell responses, which are important in protective immune response in leishmaniasis. Here we provide further genetic and functional evidence that supports a role for DLL1 in a well-powered population-based study centred in the largest global focus of VL in India. Twenty-one single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at PHF10/C6orf70/DLL1/FAM120B/PSMB1/TBP were genotyped in 941 cases and 992 controls. Logistic regression analysis under an additive model showed association between VL and variants at DLL1 and FAM120B, with top associations (rs9460106, OR=1.17, 95%CI 1.01–1.35, P=0.033; rs2103816, OR=1.16, 95%CI 1.01–1.34, P=0.039) robust to analysis using caste as a covariate to take account of population substructure. Haplotype analysis taking population substructure into account identified a common 2-SNP risk haplotype (frequency 0.43; P=0.028) at FAM120B, while the most significant protective haplotype (frequency 0.18; P=0.007) was a 5-SNP haplotype across the interval 5’ of both DLL1 (negative strand) and FAM120B (positive strand) and extending to intron 4 of DLL1. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare expression of 6q27 genes in paired pre- and post-treatment splenic aspirates from VL patients (N=19). DLL1 was the only gene to show differential expression that was higher (P<0.0001) in pre- compared to post-treatment samples, suggesting that regulation of gene expression was important in disease pathogenesis. This well-powered genetic and functional study in an Indian population provides evidence supporting DLL1 as the etiological gene contributing to susceptibility to VL at Chromosome 6q27, confirming the potential for polymorphism at DLL1 to act as a genetic risk factor across the epidemiological divides of geography and parasite species.
visceral leishmaniasis; DLL1; genetic association; Notch signalling
Neutrophil activation and recruitment to the site of infection are critical for host immunity. In humans, the cysteine protease Staphopain A of the pathogen S. aureus blocks this process by cleaving the chemokine receptor CXCR2.
The CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) on neutrophils, which recognizes chemokines produced at the site of infection, plays an important role in antimicrobial host defenses such as neutrophil activation and chemotaxis. Staphylococcus aureus is a successful human pathogen secreting a number of proteolytic enzymes, but their influence on the host immune system is not well understood. Here, we identify the cysteine protease Staphopain A as a chemokine receptor blocker. Neutrophils treated with Staphopain A are unresponsive to activation by all unique CXCR2 chemokines due to cleavage of the N-terminal domain, which can be neutralized by specific protease inhibitors. Moreover, Staphopain A inhibits neutrophil migration towards CXCR2 chemokines. By comparing a methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain with an isogenic Staphopain A mutant, we demonstrate that Staphopain A is the only secreted protease with activity towards CXCR2. Although the inability to cleave murine CXCR2 limits in-vivo studies, our data indicate that Staphopain A is an important immunomodulatory protein that blocks neutrophil recruitment by specific cleavage of the N-terminal domain of human CXCR2.
CXCR2; immune evasion; proteases; Staphylococcus aureus
The alveolar epithelium is a critical target for pulmonary viruses and can produce proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines upon viral infection. However, the molecular interactions between virus-infected alveolar epithelial cells and inflammatory cells, including polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), have not been thoroughly characterized. Rat coronavirus (RCoV) is used as a model to study the immune response to viral infection in the lung of the natural host. We have developed an in vitro model to characterize the response of PMNs to RCoV-infected type I-like alveolar epithelial (AT1) cells, the primary target for RCoV infection in the alveoli. Multiple CXC chemokines that signal through CXCR2 were required for PMN chemotaxis toward medium from RCoV-infected AT1-like cells (RCoV-AT1). Furthermore, RCoV-AT1 inhibited spontaneous PMN apoptosis, including activation of effector caspase 3 and initiator caspases 8 and 9. Use of a selective inhibitor of CXCR2, SB265610, demonstrated that CXCR2 signaling was required for RCoV-AT1–mediated inhibition of PMN apoptosis. These data suggest that CXC chemokines produced by RCoV-infected AT1-like cells inhibit PMN apoptosis during infection. These studies provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms whereby alveolar epithelial cells direct the functions of PMNs during viral infection of the lung.
alveolar epithelial cells; neutrophils; rat coronavirus; CXC chemokines; CXCR2
The chemokine CXCL12/SDF-1 and its receptor CXCR4 have been implicated in invasion, survival and proliferation of carcinoma cells. Recently, CXCR7 was identified as a second receptor for CXCL12. We observed that CXCL12 promoted proliferation of CT26 colon and KEP1 mammary carcinoma cells, and this was blocked when CXCR7 was downregulated by ‘intrakines' or RNAi, but not by CXCR4 inhibitors. The K1R mutant of CXCL12, which acts as a CXCR4 antagonist, also promoted proliferation through CXCR7 and is therefore a selective CXCR7 agonist. The effect of CXCR7 was not due to reduced apoptosis, and CXCR7 mediated chemotaxis of the carcinoma cells towards CXCL12. These results differ from those in a previous report on other carcinoma cells. We conclude that CXCL12 can be a potent growth factor for carcinoma cells by acting on CXCR7. Nevertheless, we observed no effect of complete and stable CXCR7 suppression on the growth of s.c. tumours or lung metastases of KEP1 and CT26 cells. A CXCR7 inhibitor has been reported to reduce growth of other tumours. Our results indicate that this inhibitor may not be applicable to therapy of all carcinomas.
tumour growth; chemokines; carcinoma; migration