The Journal of experimental medicine

A broad spectrum secreted chemokine binding protein encoded by a herpesvirus.

PMID 10662803


Chemokines are a family of small proteins that interact with seven-transmembrane domain receptors and modulate the migration of immune cells into sites of inflammation and infection. The murine gammaherpesvirus 68 M3 gene encodes a secreted 44-kD protein with no sequence similarity to known chemokine receptors. We show that M3 binds a broad range of chemokines, including CC, CXC, C, and CX(3)C chemokines, but does not bind human B cell-specific nor mouse neutrophil-specific CXC chemokines. This herpesvirus chemokine binding protein (hvCKBP) blocks the interaction of chemokines with high-affinity cellular receptors and inhibits chemokine-induced elevation of intracellular calcium levels. hvCKBP is the first soluble chemokine receptor identified in herpesviruses; it represents a novel protein structure with the ability to bind all subfamilies of chemokines in solution and has potential therapeutic applications.