Regulation of chemokine function: The roles of GAG-binding and post-translational nitration

Sarah Thompson, Beatriz Martínez-Burgo, Krishna Mohan Sepuru, Krishna Rajarathnam, John A. Kirby, Neil S. Sheerin, Simi Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The primary function of chemokines is to direct the migration of leukocytes to the site of injury during inflammation. The effects of chemokines are modulated by several means, including binding to G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), binding to glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and through post-translational modifications (PTMs). GAGs, present on cell surfaces, bind chemokines released in response to injury. Chemokines bind leukocytes via their GPCRs, which directs migration and contributes to local inflammation. Studies have shown that GAGs or GAG-binding peptides can be used to interfere with chemokine binding and reduce leukocyte recruitment. Post-translational modifications of chemokines, such as nitration, which occurs due to the production of reactive species during oxidative stress, can also alter their biological activity. This review describes the regulation of chemokine function by GAG-binding ability and by post-translational nitration. These are both aspects of chemokine biology that could be targeted if the therapeutic potential of chemokines, like CXCL8, to modulate inflammation is to be realised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1692
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokine nitration
  • Chemokine-GAG interaction
  • PTM
  • Synthetic peptide chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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