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Many chemokines including CCL20/MIP-3alpha display antimicrobial activity.

Yang D., Chen Q., Hoover D.M., Staley P., Tucker K.D., Lubkowski J., Oppenheim J.J.

Previous studies have demonstrated that beta-defensins exhibit chemotactic activity by sharing the chemokine receptor CCR6 with the CC chemokine ligand CCL20/macrophage-inflammatory protein-3alpha (MIP-3alpha). Structural analysis of CCL20/MIP-3alpha revealed that most of the positively charged residues are concentrated at one area of its topological surface, a characteristic considered to be important for the antimicrobial activity of defensins. Here, we report that similar to defensins, CCL20/MIP-3alpha has antimicrobial effects on Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Additionally, by screening a total of 30 human chemokines, we have identified an additional 17 human chemokines, which exhibit antimicrobial activity in vitro. Collectively, about two-thirds of the chemokines investigated so far has the capacity to kill microorganisms in vitro, suggesting that antimicrobial activity may be another host-defense function for certain chemokines. Comparison of the structural characteristics between antimicrobial and nonantimicrobial chemokines suggests that topological formation of a large, positively charged electrostatic patch on the surface of the molecule is likely to be a common structural feature of antimicrobial chemokines.

J. Leukoc. Biol. 74:448-455(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]