Structural biology of chemokine receptors

Daniel Rojo, Katsutoshi Suetomi, Javier Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Chemokine receptors are G protein-coupled receptors that mediate migration and activation of leukocytes as an important part of a protective immune response to injury and infection. In addition, chemokine receptors are used by HIV-1 to infect CD4 positive cells. The structural bases of chemokine receptor recognition and signal transduction are currently being investigated. High-resolution X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy of chemokines indicate that all these peptides exhibit a common folding pattern, in spite of its low degree of primary sequence homology. Chemokines' functional motifs have been identified by mutagenesis studies, and a possible mechanism for receptor recognition and activation is proposed, but high-resolution structure data of chemokine receptors is not yet available. Studies with receptor chimeras have identified the putative extracellular domains as the major selectivity determinants. Single-amino acid substitutions in the extracellular domains produce profound changes in receptor specificity, suggesting that motifs in these domains operate as a restrictive barrier to a common activation motif. Similarly HIV-1 usage of chemokine receptors involves interaction of one or more extracellular domains of the receptor with conserved and variable domains on the viral envelope protein gp 120, indicating a highly complex interaction. Elucidating the structural requirements for receptor interaction with chemokines and with HIV-1 will provide important insights into understanding the mechanisms of chemokine recognition and receptor activation. In addition, this information can greatly facilitate the design of effective inmunomodulatory and anti-HIV-1 therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Chemokines
  • G-protein coupled receptors
  • HIV-1
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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