Author(s): Ali S, Robertson H, Wain JH, Isaacs JD, Malik G,
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Abstract A non-glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-binding variant of the pleiotropic chemokine CCL7 was generated by mutating to alanine the basic (B) amino acids within an identified (44)BXBXXB(49) GAG-binding motif. Unlike wild-type (wt) CCL7, the mutant sequence had no affinity for heparin. However, the mutant retained a normal affinity for CCR1, CCR2b, and CCR3, and produced a normal calcium flux in mononuclear leukocytes. Both the wt and mutant proteins elicited an equal leukocyte chemotactic response within a solute diffusion gradient but, unlike the wt protein, the mutant failed to stimulate cell migration across a model endothelium. The number of leukocytes recruited to murine air pouches by the mutant sequence was lower than that recruited by wt CCL7. Furthermore, the presence of a mixture of a mutant and wt CCL7 within the air pouch elicited no significant cell accumulation. Cell recruitment also failed using a receptor-sharing mixture of mutant CCL7 and wt CCL5 or a nonreceptor sharing mixture of mutant CCL7 and wt CXCL12. The potential of the mutant sequence to modulate inflammation was confirmed by demonstration of its ability to inhibit the chemotactic response generated in vitro by synovial fluid from patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. A further series of experiments suggested that the non-GAG-binding mutant protein could potentially induce receptor desensitization before, and at a site remote from, any physiological recognition of GAG-bound chemokines. These data demonstrate that GAG binding is required for chemokine-driven inflammation in vivo and also suggest that a non-GAG-binding chemokine receptor agonist can inhibit the normal vectorial leukocyte migration mediated by chemokines.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Glycobiology