Chemokine receptors (version 2019.4) in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology Database

  • Francoise Bachelerie Institut Pasteur
  • Adit Ben-Baruch Tel Aviv University
  • Israel F. Charo Gladstone Institutes
  • Christophe Combadiere INSERM
  • Reinhold Förster Hannover Medical School
  • Joshua M. Farber National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Gerard J. Graham University of Glasgow
  • Rebecca Hills University of Edinburgh
  • Richard Horuk Berlex Laboratories
  • Massimo Locati University of Milan
  • Andrew D. Luster Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Alberto Mantovani University of Milan
  • Kouji Matsushima University of Tokyo
  • Amy E. Monaghan University of Edinburgh
  • Georgios L. Moschovakis Hannover Medical School
  • Philip M. Murphy National Institutes of Health
  • Robert J. B. Nibbs University of Glasgow
  • Hisayuki Nomiyama Kumamoto University Graduate School of Medical Sciences
  • Joost J. Oppenheim Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
  • Christine A. Power Merck Serono Geneva Research Center
  • Amanda E. I. Proudfoot  Merck Serono Geneva Research Center
  • Mette M. Rosenkilde Panum Instituttet
  • Antal Rot University of Birmingham
  • Silvano Sozzani University of Brescia
  • Marcus Thelen Institute for Research in Biomedicine
  • Osamu Yoshie Kinki University
  • Albert Zlotnik University of California Irvine


Chemokine receptors (nomenclature as agreed by the NC-IUPHAR Subcommittee on Chemokine Receptors [417, 416, 31]) comprise a large subfamily of 7TM proteins that bind one or more chemokines, a large family of small cytokines typically possessing chemotactic activity for leukocytes. Additional hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic roles have been identified for many chemokines in the areas of embryonic development, immune cell proliferation, activation and death, viral infection, and as antibiotics, among others. Chemokine receptors can be divided by function into two main groups: G protein-coupled chemokine receptors, which mediate leukocyte trafficking, and "Atypical chemokine receptors", which may signal through non-G protein-coupled mechanisms and act as chemokine scavengers to downregulate inflammation or shape chemokine gradients [31].

Chemokines in turn can be divided by structure into four subclasses by the number and arrangement of conserved cysteines. CC (also known as β-chemokines; n= 28), CXC (also known as α-chemokines; n= 17) and CX3C (n= 1) chemokines all have four conserved cysteines, with zero, one and three amino acids separating the first two cysteines respectively. C chemokines (n= 2) have only the second and fourth cysteines found in other chemokines. Chemokines can also be classified by function into homeostatic and inflammatory subgroups. Most chemokine receptors are able to bind multiple high-affinity chemokine ligands, but the ligands for a given receptor are almost always restricted to the same structural subclass. Most chemokines bind to more than one receptor subtype. Receptors for inflammatory chemokines are typically highly promiscuous with regard to ligand specificity, and may lack a selective endogenous ligand. G protein-coupled chemokine receptors are named acccording to the class of chemokines bound, whereas ACKR is the root acronym for atypical chemokine receptors [32]. There can be substantial cross-species differences in the sequences of both chemokines and chemokine receptors, and in the pharmacology and biology of chemokine receptors. Endogenous and microbial non-chemokine ligands have also been identified for chemokine receptors. Many chemokine receptors function as HIV co-receptors, but CCR5 is the only one demonstrated to play an essential role in HIV/AIDS pathogenesis. The tables include both standard chemokine receptor names [657] and aliases.
How to Cite
Bachelerie, F., Ben-Baruch, A., Charo, I. F., Combadiere, C., Förster, R., Farber, J. M., Graham, G. J., Hills, R., Horuk, R., Locati, M., Luster, A. D., Mantovani, A., Matsushima, K., Monaghan, A. E., Moschovakis, G. L., Murphy, P. M., Nibbs, R. J. B., Nomiyama, H., Oppenheim, J. J., Power, C. A., Proudfoot , A. E. I., Rosenkilde, M. M., Rot, A., Sozzani, S., Thelen, M., Yoshie, O. and Zlotnik, A. (2019) “Chemokine receptors (version 2019.4) in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology Database”, IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology CITE, 2019(4). doi: 10.2218/gtopdb/F14/2019.4.