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1.  Treatment with Evasin-3 reduces atherosclerotic vulnerability for ischemic stroke, but not brain injury in mice 
Neutrophilic inflammation might have a pathophysiological role in both carotid plaque rupture and ischemic stroke injury. Here, we investigated the potential benefits of the CXC chemokine-binding protein Evasin-3, which potently inhibits chemokine bioactivity and related neutrophilic inflammation in two mouse models of carotid atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke, respectively. In the first model, the chronic treatment with Evasin-3 as compared with Vehicle (phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)) was investigated in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice implanted of a ‘cast' carotid device. In the second model, acute Evasin-3 treatment (5 minutes after cerebral ischemia onset) was assessed in mice subjected to transient left middle cerebral artery occlusion. Although CXCL1 and CXCL2 were upregulated in both atherosclerotic plaques and infarcted brain, only CXCL1 was detectable in serum. In carotid atherosclerosis, treatment with Evasin-3 was associated with reduction in intraplaque neutrophil and matrix metalloproteinase-9 content and weak increase in collagen as compared with Vehicle. In ischemic stroke, treatment with Evasin-3 was associated with reduction in ischemic brain neutrophil infiltration and protective oxidants. No other effects in clinical and histological outcomes were observed. We concluded that Evasin-3 treatment was associated with reduction in neutrophilic inflammation in both mouse models. However, Evasin-3 administration after cerebral ischemia onset failed to improve poststroke outcomes.
doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.198
PMCID: PMC3618389  PMID: 23250107
acute stroke; atherosclerosis; brain ischemia; carotid artery; inflammation
2.  CCL18 Exhibits a Regulatory Role through Inhibition of Receptor and Glycosaminoglycan Binding 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72321.
CCL18 has been reported to be present constitutively at high levels in the circulation, and is further elevated during inflammatory diseases. Since it is a rather poor chemoattractant, we wondered if it may have a regulatory role. CCL18 has been reported to inhibit cellular recruitment mediated by CCR3, and we have shown that whilst it is a competitive functional antagonist as assessed by Schild plot analysis, it only binds to a subset of CCR3 receptor populations. We have extended this inhibitory activity to other receptors and have shown that CCL18 is able to inhibit CCR1, CCR2, CCR4 and CCR5 mediated chemotaxis, but has no effect on CCR7 and CCR9, nor the CXC receptors that we have tested. Whilst CCL18 is able to bind to CCR3, it does not bind to the other receptors that it inhibits. We therefore tested the hypothesis that it may displace glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chemokines bound either in cis- on the leukocyte, or in trans-presentation on the endothelial surface, thereby inhibiting the recruitment of leukocytes into the site of inflammation. We show that CCL18 selectivity displaces heparin bound chemokines, and that chemokines from all four chemokine sub-classes displace cell bound CCL18. We propose that CCL18 has regulatory properties inhibiting chemokine function when GAG-mediated presentation plays a role in receptor activation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072321
PMCID: PMC3741163  PMID: 23951310
3.  The Activity of CCL18 is Principally Mediated through Interaction with Glycosaminoglycans 
The CC chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18) was first identified as a chemoattractant for naïve T cells. It has been reported to recruit T and B lymphocytes, and we show here, natural killer (NK) cells, but with low efficacy. Investigation of its ability to elicit G-protein-coupled signaling showed that it does not involve extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, and it is not able to induce receptor internalization, as assessed on CCR3. CCL18 has recently been reported to possess activities unrelated to cellular recruitment, but it had no effect on T lymphocyte proliferation. We postulated that a more potent chemoattractant may be produced under inflammatory conditions but only minor truncations were observed, with the major form being the full-length protein. In view of the lack of potent immunomodulatory properties, we wondered if binding to CCL18 by the tick chemokine binding proteins Evasin-1 and -4 was an artifact of the methods used, but complex formation was confirmed by size exclusion chromatography, and abrogation of its binding to, and antagonism of, CCR3. Its receptor has remained elusive since its cloning in 1997, although it has been reported to induce migration of breast cancer cells by signaling through PITPNM3, but we show that this receptor is not expressed on lymphocytes. We have developed a radiolabeled equilibrium competition binding assay and demonstrated that it bound with high affinity to peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs), but the binding was displaced similarly by both unlabelled CCL18 as well as heparin. Both heparin binding and binding to PBLs are considerably abrogated by mutation of the BBXB motif in the 40s loop suggesting an essential role of the CCL18-glycosaminoglycan interaction.
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2013.00193
PMCID: PMC3711072  PMID: 23874339
chemokines; CCL18; synovial fluid; glycosaminoglycan; BBXB motif; Evasin
4.  HMGB1 promotes recruitment of inflammatory cells to damaged tissues by forming a complex with CXCL12 and signaling via CXCR4 
CXCL12 forms a complex with HMGB1 that binds to the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and increases inflammatory cell migration.
After tissue damage, inflammatory cells infiltrate the tissue and release proinflammatory cytokines. HMGB1 (high mobility group box 1), a nuclear protein released by necrotic and severely stressed cells, promotes cytokine release via its interaction with the TLR4 (Toll-like receptor 4) receptor and cell migration via an unknown mechanism. We show that HMGB1-induced recruitment of inflammatory cells depends on CXCL12. HMGB1 and CXCL12 form a heterocomplex, which we characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and surface plasmon resonance, that acts exclusively through CXCR4 and not through other HMGB1 receptors. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer data show that the HMGB1–CXCL12 heterocomplex promotes different conformational rearrangements of CXCR4 from that of CXCL12 alone. Mononuclear cell recruitment in vivo into air pouches and injured muscles depends on the heterocomplex and is inhibited by AMD3100 and glycyrrhizin. Thus, inflammatory cell recruitment and activation both depend on HMGB1 via different mechanisms.
doi:10.1084/jem.20111739
PMCID: PMC3302219  PMID: 22370717
5.  Interference with Oligomerization and Glycosaminoglycan Binding of the Chemokine CCL5 Improves Experimental Liver Injury 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36614.
Background
The chemokine CCL5 is involved in the recruitment of immune cells and a subsequent activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) after liver injury. We here investigate whether inhibition of CCL5 oligomerization and glycosaminoglycan binding by a mutated CCL5 protein (44AANA47-CCL5) has the potential to ameliorate liver cell injury and fibrosis in vivo.
Methodology
Liver injury was induced in C57BL/6 mice by intraperitoneal injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in an acute and a chronic liver injury model. Simultaneously, mice received either 44AANA47-CCL5 or vehicle. Liver cell necrosis and fibrosis was analyzed by histology, and measurement of serum transaminases and hydroxyproline. Intrahepatic mRNA expression of fibrosis and inflammation related genes were determined by quantitative RT-PCR and infiltration of immune cells was assessed by FACS analysis and immunocytochemistry. In vitro, HSC were stimulated with conditioned media of T-cell enriched splenocytes.
Principal Findings
44AANA47-CCL5 treated mice displayed a significantly reduced degree of acute liver injury (liver cell necrosis, transaminases) and fibrosis (Sirus red positive area and hydroxyproline content) compared to vehicle treated mice. Ameliorated fibrosis by 44AANA47-CCL5 was associated with a decreased expression of fibrosis related genes, decreased α-smoth muscle antigen (αSMA) and a reduction of infiltrating immune cells. In the acute model, 44AANA47-CCL5 treated mice displayed a reduced immune cell infiltration and mRNA levels of TNF, IL-1 and CCL3 compared to vehicle treated mice. In vitro, conditioned medium of T-cell enriched splenocytes of 44AANA47-CCL5 treated mice inhibited the chemotaxis and proliferation of HSC.
Conclusions
The results provide evidence that inhibition of oligomerization and glycosaminoglycan binding of the chemokine CCL5 is a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of acute and chronic liver injuries and represents an alternative to chemokine receptor antagonism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036614
PMCID: PMC3344902  PMID: 22574195
6.  Glycosaminoglycan analogs as a novel anti-inflammatory strategy 
Heparin, a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), has both anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant properties. The clinical use of heparin against inflammation, however, has been limited by concerns about increased bleeding. While the anti-coagulant activity of heparin is well understood, its anti-inflammatory properties are less so. Heparin is known to bind to certain cytokines, including chemokines, small proteins which mediate inflammation through their control of leukocyte migration and activation. Molecules which can interrupt the chemokine-GAG interaction without inhibiting coagulation could therefore, represent a new class of anti-inflammatory agents. In the present study, two approaches were undertaken, both focusing on the heparin-chemokine relationship. In the first, a structure based strategy was used: after an initial screening of potential small molecule binders using protein NMR on a target chemokine, binding molecules were optimized through structure-based design. In the second approach, commercially available short oligosaccharides were polysulfated. In vitro, these molecules prevented chemokine-GAG binding and chemokine receptor activation without disrupting coagulation. However, in vivo, these compounds caused variable results in a murine peritoneal recruitment assay, with a general increase of cell recruitment. In more disease specific models, such as antigen-induced arthritis and delayed-type hypersensitivity, an overall decrease in inflammation was noted, suggesting that the primary anti-inflammatory effect may also involve factors beyond the chemokine system.
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2012.00293
PMCID: PMC3472544  PMID: 23087686
chemokine; chemokine antagonist; glycosaminoglycans; anti-inflammatory; NMR
7.  Antagonism of the chemokine Ccl5 ameliorates experimental liver fibrosis in mice 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2010;120(11):4129-4140.
Activation of hepatic stellate cells in response to chronic inflammation represents a crucial step in the development of liver fibrosis. However, the molecules involved in the interaction between immune cells and stellate cells remain obscure. Herein, we identify the chemokine CCL5 (also known as RANTES), which is induced in murine and human liver after injury, as a central mediator of this interaction. First, we showed in patients with liver fibrosis that CCL5 haplotypes and intrahepatic CCL5 mRNA expression were associated with severe liver fibrosis. Consistent with this, we detected Ccl5 mRNA and CCL5 protein in 2 mouse models of liver fibrosis, induced by either injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) or feeding on a methionine and choline–deficient (MCD) diet. In these models, Ccl5–/– mice exhibited decreased hepatic fibrosis, with reduced stellate cell activation and immune cell infiltration. Transplantation of Ccl5-deficient bone marrow into WT recipients attenuated liver fibrosis, identifying infiltrating hematopoietic cells as the main source of Ccl5. We then showed that treatment with the CCL5 receptor antagonist Met-CCL5 inhibited cultured stellate cell migration, proliferation, and chemokine and collagen secretion. Importantly, in vivo administration of Met-CCL5 greatly ameliorated liver fibrosis in mice and was able to accelerate fibrosis regression. Our results define a successful therapeutic approach to reduce experimental liver fibrosis by antagonizing Ccl5 receptors.
doi:10.1172/JCI41732
PMCID: PMC2964968  PMID: 20978355
8.  Viral macrophage inflammatory protein-II improves acute rejection in allogeneic rat kidney transplants 
World Journal of Urology  2010;28(4):537-542.
Purpose
During rejection, leukocytes are recruited from the peripheral circulation into the graft leading to the damage of endothelial cells, capillary perfusion failure and graft loss. Chemokines play a pivotal role in the recruitment of leukocytes to the endothelium. Viral macrophage inflammatory protein-II (vMIP-II), a human herpes virus-8 DNA-encoded protein, is a broad-spectrum chemokine antagonist. The aim of the study was to prove the beneficial activity of vMIP-II treatment on acute rat kidney allograft damage.
Methods
Heterotopic rat kidney transplantation was performed in the Fischer 344 to Lewis transplantation model and animals were treated with vMIP-II (2 × 15 µg or 100 µg/day) for 7 days. Rejection-induced damage was analyzed by histology, and microcirculatory changes within the graft were analyzed by in vivo microscopy.
Results
Viral macrophage inflammatory protein-II significantly improved acute glomerular damage and tubulointerstitial inflammation and lowered the extent of vascular and tubulointerstitial damage of the treated allografts. Functional microcirculation of peritubular capillaries was significantly improved in vivo, and the firm adherence of leukocytes was significantly reduced by vMIP-II treatment.
Conclusions
The administration of the broad-spectrum antagonist vMIP-II improved acute renal allograft damage, mainly by a reduction in leukocyte recruitment with a subsequently improved renal cortical microcirculation in vivo.
doi:10.1007/s00345-010-0556-0
PMCID: PMC2908759  PMID: 20401660
Chemokine; Virokine; vMIP-II; Inflammation; Allograft rejection
9.  Neutrophil-Derived CCL3 Is Essential for the Rapid Recruitment of Dendritic Cells to the Site of Leishmania major Inoculation in Resistant Mice 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(2):e1000755.
Neutrophils are rapidly and massively recruited to sites of microbial infection, where they can influence the recruitment of dendritic cells. Here, we have analyzed the role of neutrophil released chemokines in the early recruitment of dendritic cells (DCs) in an experimental model of Leishmania major infection. We show in vitro, as well as during infection, that the parasite induced the expression of CCL3 selectively in neutrophils from L. major resistant mice. Neutrophil-secreted CCL3 was critical in chemotaxis of immature DCs, an effect lost upon CCL3 neutralisation. Depletion of neutrophils prior to infection, as well as pharmacological or genetic inhibition of CCL3, resulted in a significant decrease in DC recruitment at the site of parasite inoculation. Decreased DC recruitment in CCL3−/− mice was corrected by the transfer of wild type neutrophils at the time of infection. The early release of CCL3 by neutrophils was further shown to have a transient impact on the development of a protective immune response. Altogether, we identified a novel role for neutrophil-secreted CCL3 in the first wave of DC recruitment to the site of infection with L. major, suggesting that the selective release of neutrophil-secreted chemokines may regulate the development of immune response to pathogens.
Author Summary
When infectious agents enter our body, neutrophils are the first cells recruited to the scene. In addition to their capacity to kill microbes, neutrophils secrete molecules that attract other cells also involved in immune defense, such as dendritic cells (DCs). Here, we investigate the secretion of DC-attracting chemokines by neutrophils after inoculation of mice with Leishmania major, a protozoan parasite that can cause long-lasting, skin ulcers in man. Following parasite inoculation, most inbred strains of mice (e.g.C57BL/6) develop self-resolving lesions, while in a few strains (e.g. BALB/c) lesions fail to heal. We report here that in “healer” C57BL/6 mice, higher numbers of DCs were attracted at the site of infection than in “non-healer” BALB/c mice. DC recruitment correlated with secretion by neutrophils of the chemokine CCL3, as indeed a markedly decreased DC recruitment was observed in C57BL/6 mice depleted of neutrophils or deprived of the capacity to produce CCL3. DC recruitment was restored upon transfer of normal neutrophils to CCL3 deficient mice. Our results reveal a crucial role for neutrophil-secreted CCL3 in early recruitment of DCs in L. major-infected “healer” mice, and suggest that the type of chemokine secreted by neutrophils will have consequences in the launching of pathogen-specific immune response.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000755
PMCID: PMC2816696  PMID: 20140197
10.  Structural Basis of Chemokine Sequestration by a Tick Chemokine Binding Protein: The Crystal Structure of the Complex between Evasin-1 and CCL3 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8514.
Background
Chemokines are a subset of cytokines responsible for controlling the cellular migration of inflammatory cells through interaction with seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors. The blocking of a chemokine-receptor interaction results in a reduced inflammatory response, and represents a possible anti-inflammatory strategy, a strategy that is already employed by some virus and parasites. Anti-chemokine activity has been described in the extracts of tick salivary glands, and we have recently described the cloning and characterization of such chemokine binding proteins from the salivary glands, which we have named Evasins.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We have solved the structure of Evasin-1, a very small and highly selective chemokine-binding protein, by x-ray crystallography and report that the structure is novel, with no obvious similarity to the previously described structures of viral chemokine binding proteins. Moreover it does not possess a known fold. We have also solved the structure of the complex of Evasin-1 and its high affinity ligand, CCL3. The complex is a 1∶1 heterodimer in which the N-terminal region of CCL3 forms numerous contacts with Evasin-1, including prominent π-π interactions between residues Trp89 and Phe14 of the binding protein and Phe29 and Phe13 of the chemokine.
Conclusions/Significance
However, these interactions do not appear to be crucial for the selectivity of the binding protein, since these residues are found in CCL5, which is not a ligand for Evasin-1. The selectivity of the interaction would appear to lie in the N-terminal residues of the chemokine, which form the “address” whereas the hydrophobic interactions in the rest of the complex would serve primarily to stabilize the complex. A thorough understanding of the binding mode of this small protein, and its other family members, could be very informative in the design of potent neutralizing molecules of pro-inflammatory mediators of the immune system, such as chemokines.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008514
PMCID: PMC2796168  PMID: 20041127
11.  Ticks produce highly selective chemokine binding proteins with antiinflammatory activity 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(9):2019-2031.
Bloodsucking parasites such as ticks have evolved a wide variety of immunomodulatory proteins that are secreted in their saliva, allowing them to feed for long periods of time without being detected by the host immune system. One possible strategy used by ticks to evade the host immune response is to produce proteins that selectively bind and neutralize the chemokines that normally recruit cells of the innate immune system that protect the host from parasites. We have identified distinct cDNAs encoding novel chemokine binding proteins (CHPBs), which we have termed Evasins, using an expression cloning approach. These CHBPs have unusually stringent chemokine selectivity, differentiating them from broader spectrum viral CHBPs. Evasin-1 binds to CCL3, CCL4, and CCL18; Evasin-3 binds to CXCL8 and CXCL1; and Evasin-4 binds to CCL5 and CCL11. We report the characterization of Evasin-1 and -3, which are unrelated in primary sequence and tertiary structure, and reveal novel folds. Administration of recombinant Evasin-1 and -3 in animal models of disease demonstrates that they have potent antiinflammatory properties. These novel CHBPs designed by nature are even smaller than the recently described single-domain antibodies (Hollinger, P., and P.J. Hudson. 2005. Nat. Biotechnol. 23:1126–1136), and may be therapeutically useful as novel antiinflammatory agents in the future.
doi:10.1084/jem.20072689
PMCID: PMC2526197  PMID: 18678732
12.  Amelioration of Rat Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis by Met-RANTES 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2005;52(6):1907-1919.
Objective
CC chemokines and their receptors play a fundamental role in trafficking and activation of leukocytes at sites of inflammation, contributing to joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. Met-RANTES, an amino-terminal–modified methionylated form of RANTES (CCL5), antagonizes the binding of the chemokines RANTES and macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α; CCL3) to their receptors CCR1 and CCR5, respectively. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Met-RANTES could ameliorate adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) in the rat.
Methods
Using immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis, adoptive transfer, and chemotaxis, we defined joint inflammation, bony destruction, neutrophil and macrophage migration, Met-RANTES binding affinity to rat receptors, proinflammatory cytokine and bone marker levels, CCR1 and CCR5 expression and activation, and macrophage homing into joints with AIA.
Results
Administration of Met-RANTES as a preventative reduced the severity of joint inflammation. Administration of Met-RANTES to ankles with AIA showed decreases in inflammation, radiographic soft tissue swelling, and bone erosion. Met-RANTES significantly reduced the number of neutrophils and macrophages at the peak of arthritis compared with saline-injected controls. Competitive chemotaxis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells demonstrated that Met-RANTES inhibited MIP-1α and MIP-1β at 50% inhibition concentrations of 5 nM and 2 nM, respectively. Furthermore, levels of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1β, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and RANKL were decreased in joints with AIA in the Met-RANTES group compared with the control group. Interestingly, the expression and activation of CCR1 and CCR5 in the joint were down-regulated in the Met-RANTES group compared with the control group. Functionally, Met-RANTES administration decreased adoptively transferred peritoneal macrophage homing into the joint.
Conclusion
The data suggest that the targeting of Th1-associated chemokine receptors reduce joint inflammation, bone destruction, and cell recruitment into joints with AIA.
doi:10.1002/art.21033
PMCID: PMC1282452  PMID: 15934086
13.  CC Chemokine Receptor (CCR)4 and the CCR10 Ligand Cutaneous T Cell–attracting Chemokine (CTACK) in Lymphocyte Trafficking to Inflamed Skin 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2001;194(10):1541-1547.
The chemokine thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC; CCL17) is displayed by cutaneous (but not intestinal) venules, and is thought to trigger vascular arrest of circulating skin homing memory T cells, which uniformly express the TARC receptor CC chemokine receptor (CCR)4. Cutaneous T cell–attracting chemokine (CTACK; CCL27), expressed by skin keratinocytes, also attracts cutaneous memory T cells, and is hypothesized to assist in lymphocyte recruitment to skin as well. Here we show that chronic cutaneous inflammation induces CD4 T cells expressing E-selectin binding activity (a marker of skin homing memory cells) in draining lymph node, and that these E-selectin ligand+ T cells migrate efficiently to TARC and to CTACK. In 24 h in vivo homing assays, stimulated lymph node T cells from wild-type mice or, surprisingly, from CCR4-deficient donors migrate efficiently to inflamed skin; and an inhibitory anti-CTACK antibody has no effect on wild-type lymphocyte recruitment. However, inhibition with anti-CTACK monoclonal antibody abrogates skin recruitment of CCR4-deficient T cells. We conclude that CTACK and CCR4 can both support homing of T cells to skin, and that either one or the other is required for lymphocyte recruitment in cutaneous delayed type hypersensitivity.
PMCID: PMC2193675  PMID: 11714760
lymphocyte homing; chemokines; inflammation; delayed type hypersensitivity; selectins
14.  Interaction of the CC-Chemokine RANTES with Glycosaminoglycans Activates a p44/p42 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase-Dependent Signaling Pathway and Enhances Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infectivity 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(5):2245-2254.
The interaction of the CC-chemokine RANTES with its cell surface receptors transduces multiple intracellular signals: low concentrations of RANTES (1 to 10 nM) stimulate G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activity, and higher concentrations (1 μM) activate a phosphotyrosine kinase (PTK)-dependent pathway. Here, we show that the higher RANTES concentrations induce rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple proteins. Several src-family kinases (Fyn, Hck, Src) are activated, as is the focal adhesion kinase p125 FAK and, eventually, members of the p44/p42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family. This PTK signaling pathway can be activated independently of known seven-transmembrane GPCRs for RANTES because it occurs in cells that lack any such RANTES receptors. Instead, activation of the PTK signaling pathway is dependent on the expression of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface, in that it could not be activated by RANTES in GAG-deficient cells. We have previously demonstrated that RANTES can both enhance and inhibit infection of cells with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Here we show that activation of both PTK and MAPK is involved in the enhancement of HIV-1 infectivity caused by RANTES in cells that lack GPCRs for RANTES but which express GAGs.
PMCID: PMC135942  PMID: 11836402
15.  Endocytosis and Recycling of the HIV Coreceptor Ccr5 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;151(6):1281-1294.
The chemokine receptor CCR5 is a cofactor for the entry of R5 tropic strains of human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV)-1 and -2 and simian immunodeficiency virus. Cells susceptible to infection by these viruses can be protected by treatment with the CCR5 ligands regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), MIP-1α, and MIP-1β. A major component of the mechanism through which chemokines protect cells from HIV infection is by inducing endocytosis of the chemokine receptor. Aminooxypentane (AOP)-RANTES, an NH2-terminal modified form of RANTES, is a potent inhibitor of infection by R5 HIV strains. AOP-RANTES efficiently downmodulates the cell surface expression of CCR5 and, in contrast with RANTES, appears to prevent recycling of CCR5 to the cell surface. Here, we investigate the cellular basis of this effect.
Using CHO cells expressing human CCR5, we show that both RANTES and AOP-RANTES induce rapid internalization of CCR5. In the absence of ligand, CCR5 shows constitutive turnover with a half-time of 6–9 h. Addition of RANTES or AOP-RANTES has little effect on the rate of CCR5 turnover. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy show that most of the CCR5 internalized after RANTES or AOP-RANTES treatment accumulates in small membrane-bound vesicles and tubules clustered in the perinuclear region of the cell. Colocalization with transferrin receptors in the same clusters of vesicles indicates that CCR5 accumulates in recycling endosomes. After the removal of RANTES, internalized CCR5 recycles to the cell surface and is sensitive to further rounds of RANTES-induced endocytosis. In contrast, after the removal of AOP-RANTES, most CCR5 remains intracellular. We show that these CCR5 molecules do recycle to the cell surface, with kinetics equivalent to those of receptors in RANTES-treated cells. However, these recycled CCR5 molecules are rapidly reinternalized. Our results indicate that AOP-RANTES–induced changes in CCR5 alter the steady-state distribution of the receptor and provide the first evidence for G protein–coupled receptor trafficking through the recycling endosome compartment.
PMCID: PMC2190598  PMID: 11121442
chemokine receptor; endocytosis; CCR5; recycling endosome; HIV
16.  Lymph-Borne Chemokines and Other Low Molecular Weight Molecules Reach High Endothelial Venules via Specialized Conduits While a Functional Barrier Limits Access to the Lymphocyte Microenvironments in Lymph Node Cortex 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;192(10):1425-1440.
Lymph-borne, soluble factors (e.g., chemokines and others) influence lymphocyte recirculation and endothelial phenotype at high endothelial venules (HEVs) in lymph node cortex. Yet the route lymph-borne soluble molecules travel from the subcapsular sinus to the HEVs is unclear. Therefore, we injected subcutaneously into mice and rats a wide variety of fluorophore-labeled, soluble molecules and examined their distribution in the draining lymph nodes. Rather than percolating throughout the draining lymph node, all molecules, including microbial lipopolysaccharide, were very visible in the subcapsular and medullary sinuses but were largely excluded from the cortical lymphocyte microenvironments. Exclusion prevailed even during the acute lymph node enlargement accompanying viral infection. However, low molecular mass (MW) molecules, including chemokines, did gain entry into the cortex, but in a very defined manner. Low MW, fluorophore-labeled molecules highlighted the subcapsular sinus, the reticular fibers, and the abluminal and luminal surfaces of the associated HEVs. These low MW molecules were in the fibers of the reticular network, a meshwork of collagen fibers ensheathed by fibroblastic reticular cells that connects the subcapsular sinus floor and the HEVs by intertwining with their basement membranes. Thus, low MW, lymph-borne molecules, including chemokines, traveled rapidly from the subcapsular sinus to the HEVs using the reticular network as a conduit.
PMCID: PMC2193184  PMID: 11085745
reticular network; mouse; rat; lymphocyte recirculation; antigen
17.  A Key Role for Cc Chemokine Receptor 4 in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Endotoxic Shock 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;191(10):1755-1764.
CC chemokine receptor (CCR)4, a high affinity receptor for the CC chemokines thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), is expressed in the thymus and spleen, and also by peripheral blood T cells, macrophages, platelets, and basophils. Recent studies have shown that CCR4 is the major chemokine receptor expressed by T helper type 2 (Th2) polarized cells. To study the in vivo role of CCR4, we have generated CCR4-deficient (CCR4−/−) mice by gene targeting. CCR4−/− mice developed normally. Splenocytes and thymocytes isolated from the CCR4−/− mice failed to respond to the CCR4 ligands TARC and MDC, as expected, but also surprisingly did not undergo chemotaxis in vitro in response to macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α. The CCR4 deletion had no effect on Th2 differentiation in vitro or in a Th2-dependent model of allergic airway inflammation. However, CCR4−/− mice exhibited significantly decreased mortality on administration of high or low dose bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) compared with CCR4+/+ mice. After high dose LPS treatment, serum levels of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 1β, and MIP-1α were reduced in CCR4−/− mice, and decreased expression of MDC and MIP-2 mRNA was detected in peritoneal exudate cells. Analysis of peritoneal lavage cells from CCR4−/− mice by flow cytometry also revealed a significant decrease in the F4/80+ cell population. This may reflect a defect in the ability of the CCR4−/− macrophages to be retained in the peritoneal cavity. Taken together, our data reveal an unexpected role for CCR4 in the inflammatory response leading to LPS-induced lethality.
PMCID: PMC2193157  PMID: 10811868
CC chemokine receptor 4; lipopolysaccharide; endotoxic shock; F4/80 antigen; T helper type 2 cells
18.  Similarities and Differences in RANTES- and (AOP)-RANTES–triggered Signals: Implications for Chemotaxis  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1999;144(4):755-765.
Chemokines are a family of proinflammatory cytokines that attract and activate specific types of leukocytes. Chemokines mediate their effects via interaction with seven transmembrane G protein–coupled receptors (GPCR). Using CCR5-transfected HEK-293 cells, we show that both the CCR5 ligand, RANTES, as well as its derivative, aminooxypentane (AOP)- RANTES, trigger immediate responses such as Ca2+ influx, receptor dimerization, tyrosine phosphorylation, and Gαi as well as JAK/STAT association to the receptor. In contrast to RANTES, (AOP)-RANTES is unable to trigger late responses, as measured by the association of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) to the chemokine receptor complex, impaired cell polarization required for migration, or chemotaxis. The results are discussed in the context of the dissociation of the late signals, provoked by the chemokines required for cell migration, from early signals.
PMCID: PMC2132943  PMID: 10037796
chemokines; receptor dimerization; inflammation; HIV-1
19.  The CC-Chemokine RANTES Increases the Attachment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 to Target Cells via Glycosaminoglycans and Also Activates a Signal Transduction Pathway That Enhances Viral Infectivity 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(8):6370-6379.
We have studied the mechanisms by which the CC-chemokine RANTES can enhance the infectivities of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and other enveloped viruses, when present at concentrations in excess of 500 ng/ml in vitro. Understanding the underlying mechanisms might throw light on fundamental processes of viral infection, in particular for HIV-1. Our principal findings are twofold: firstly, that oligomers of RANTES can cross-link enveloped viruses, including HIV-1, to cells via glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) present on the membranes of both virions and cells; secondly, that oligomers of RANTES interact with cell-surface GAGs to transduce a herbimycin A-sensitive signal which, over a period of several hours, renders the cells more permissive to infection by several viruses, including HIV-1. The enhancement mechanisms require that RANTES oligomerize either in solution or following binding to GAGs, since no viral infectivity enhancement is observed with a mutant form of the RANTES molecule that contains a single-amino-acid change (glutamic acid to serine at position 66) which abrogates oligomerization.
PMCID: PMC112716  PMID: 10400729
20.  Enhancement of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection by the CC-Chemokine RANTES Is Independent of the Mechanism of Virus-Cell Fusion 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(1):684-694.
We have studied the effects of CC-chemokines on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, focusing on the infectivity enhancement caused by RANTES. High RANTES concentrations increase the infectivity of HIV-1 isolates that use CXC-chemokine receptor 4 for entry. However, RANTES can have a similar enhancing effect on macrophagetropic viruses that enter via CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5), despite binding to the same receptor as the virus. Furthermore, RANTES enhances the infectivity of HIV-1 pseudotyped with the envelope glycoprotein of murine leukemia virus or vesicular stomatitis virus, showing that the mechanism of enhancement is independent of the route of virus-cell fusion. The enhancing effects of RANTES are not mediated via CCR5 or other known chemokine receptors and are not mimicked by MIP-1α or MIP-1β. The N-terminally modified derivative aminooxypentane RANTES (AOP-RANTES) efficiently inhibits HIV-1 infection via CCR5 but otherwise mimics RANTES by enhancing viral infectivity. There are two mechanisms of enhancement: one apparent when target cells are pretreated with RANTES (or AOP-RANTES) for several hours, and the other apparent when RANTES (or AOP-RANTES) is added during virus-cell absorption. We believe that the first mechanism is related to cellular activation by RANTES, whereas the second is an increase in virion attachment to target cells.
PMCID: PMC103875  PMID: 9847374
21.  The Coordinated Action of CC Chemokines in the Lung Orchestrates Allergic Inflammation and Airway Hyperresponsiveness  
The complex pathophysiology of lung allergic inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) that characterize asthma is achieved by the regulated accumulation and activation of different leukocyte subsets in the lung. The development and maintenance of these processes correlate with the coordinated production of chemokines. Here, we have assessed the role that different chemokines play in lung allergic inflammation and BHR by blocking their activities in vivo. Our results show that blockage of each one of these chemokines reduces both lung leukocyte infiltration and BHR in a substantially different way. Thus, eotaxin neutralization reduces specifically BHR and lung eosinophilia transiently after each antigen exposure. Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-5 neutralization abolishes BHR not by affecting the accumulation of inflammatory leukocytes in the airways, but rather by altering the trafficking of the eosinophils and other leukocytes through the lung interstitium. Neutralization of RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) receptor(s) with a receptor antagonist decreases significantly lymphocyte and eosinophil infiltration as well as mRNA expression of eotaxin and RANTES. In contrast, neutralization of one of the ligands for RANTES receptors, macrophage-inflammatory protein 1α, reduces only slightly lung eosinophilia and BHR. Finally, MCP-1 neutralization diminishes drastically BHR and inflammation, and this correlates with a pronounced decrease in monocyte- and lymphocyte-derived inflammatory mediators. These results suggest that different chemokines activate different cellular and molecular pathways that in a coordinated fashion contribute to the complex pathophysiology of asthma, and that their individual blockage results in intervention at different levels of these processes.
PMCID: PMC2525544  PMID: 9653092
chemokines; allergic inflammation; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; eosinophilia; leukocytes
22.  Aminooxypentane-RANTES Induces CCR5 Internalization but Inhibits Recycling: A Novel Inhibitory Mechanism of HIV Infectivity  
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1998;187(8):1215-1224.
CCR5, a chemokine receptor expressed on T cells and macrophages, is the principal coreceptor for M-tropic HIV-1 strains. Recently, we described an NH2-terminal modification of the CCR5 ligand regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), aminooxypentane-RANTES (AOP-RANTES), that showed potent inhibition of macrophage infection by HIV-1 under conditions where RANTES was barely effective. To investigate the mechanism of AOP-RANTES inhibition of HIV infectivity we examined the surface expression of CCR5 using a monoclonal anti-CCR5 antibody, MC-1. We demonstrate that AOP-RANTES rapidly caused >90% decrease in cell surface expression of CCR5 on lymphocytes, monocytes/ macrophages, and CCR5 transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. RANTES also caused a loss of cell surface CCR5, although its effect was less than with AOP-RANTES. Significantly, AOP-RANTES inhibited recycling of internalized CCR5 to the cell surface, whereas RANTES did not. When peripheral blood mononuclear cells are cultured for prolonged periods of time in the presence of RANTES, CCR5 expression is comparable to that seen on cells treated with control medium, whereas there is no CCR5 surface expression on cells cultured in the presence of AOP-RANTES. Immunofluorescence indicated that both AOP-RANTES and RANTES induced downmodulation of cell surface CCR5, and that the receptor was redistributed into endocytic organelles containing the transferrin receptor. When RANTES was removed, the internalized receptor was recycled to the cell surface; however, the receptor internalized in the presence of AOP-RANTES was retained in endosomes. Using human osteosarcoma (GHOST) 34/CCR5 cells, the potency of AOP-RANTES and RANTES to inhibit infection by the M-tropic HIV-1 strain, SF 162, correlated with the degree of downregulation of CCR5 induced by the two chemokines. These differences between AOP-RANTES and RANTES in their effect on receptor downregulation and recycling suggest a mechanism for the potent inhibition of HIV infection by AOP-RANTES. Moreover, these results support the notion that receptor internalization and inhibition of receptor recycling present new targets for therapeutic agents to prevent HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC2212227  PMID: 9547333
23.  CXCR4 as a Functional Coreceptor for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection of Primary Macrophages 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(10):8453-8457.
The coreceptors used by primary syncytium-inducing (SI) human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates for infection of primary macrophages were investigated. SI strains using only CXCR4 replicated equally well in macrophages with or without CCR5 and were inhibited by several different ligands for CXCR4 including SDF-1 and bicyclam derivative AMD3100. SI strains that used a broad range of coreceptors including CCR3, CCR5, CCR8, CXCR4, and BONZO infected CCR5-deficient macrophages about 10-fold less efficiently than CCR5+ macrophages. Moreover, AMD3100 blocked infection of CCR5-negative macrophages by these strains. Our results therefore demonstrate that CXCR4, as well as CCR5, is used for infection of primary macrophages but provide no evidence for the use of alternative coreceptors.
PMCID: PMC110244  PMID: 9733901
24.  A Broad Range of Chemokine Receptors Are Used by Primary Isolates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 2 as Coreceptors with CD4 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(5):4065-4071.
Like human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), HIV-2 requires a coreceptor in addition to CD4 for entry into cells. HIV and SIV coreceptor molecules belong to a family of seven-transmembrane-domain G-protein-coupled receptors. Here we show that primary HIV-2 isolates can use a broad range of coreceptor molecules, including CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR4, CCR5, and CXCR4. Despite broad coreceptor use, the chemokine ligand SDF-1 substantially blocked HIV-2 infectivity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, indicating that its receptor, CXCR4, was the predominant coreceptor for infection of these cells. However, expression of CXCR4 together with CD4 on some cell types did not confer susceptibility to infection by all CXCR4-using virus isolates. These data therefore indicate that another factor(s) influences the ability of HIV-2 to replicate in human cell types that express the appropriate receptors for virus entry.
PMCID: PMC109635  PMID: 9557695
25.  Cloning and Characterization of a Specific Receptor for the Novel CC Chemokine MIP-3α from Lung Dendritic Cells  
Dendritic cells are potent antigen-presenting cells involved in the initiation of immune responses. The trafficking of these cells to tissues and lymph nodes is mediated by members of the chemokine family. Recently, a novel CC chemokine known as MIP-3α or liver and activation-regulated chemokine has been identified from the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ expressed sequence tag database. In the present study, we have shown that the messenger RNA for MIP-3α is expressed predominantly in inflamed and mucosal tissues. MIP-3α produced either synthetically or by human embryonic kidney 293 cells is chemotactic for CD34+-derived dendritic cells and T cells, but is inactive on monocytes and neutrophils. MIP-3α was unable to displace the binding of specific CC or CXC chemokines to stable cell lines expressing their respective high affinity receptors, namely CCR1–5 and CXCR1 and CXCR2, suggesting that MIP-3α acts through a novel CC chemokine receptor. Therefore, we used degenerate oligonucleotide-based reverse transcriptase PCR to identify candidate MIP-3α receptors in lung dendritic cells. Our results show that the orphan receptor known as GCY-4, CKRL-3, or STRL-22 is a specific receptor for MIP-3α, and that its activation leads to pertussis toxin–sensitive and phospholipase C–dependent intracellular Ca2+ mobilization when it is expressed in HEK 293 cells.
PMCID: PMC2199050  PMID: 9294137

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