Chemokine Types

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Chemokines belong to a family of proteins called the cytokines and are involved in initiating and guiding the recruitment and migration of immune cells to sites of infection or damage. Chemokines are small in size with a molecular weight of around 6 to 14 kilodaltons and contain around 70 to 125 amino acids.

Around 50 chemokines have been identified to date. Usually, chemokines have four cysteine residues that are key in providing their three dimensional shape. Members of the chemokine family can be divided into four main categories depending on how the first two cysteines are spaced.

CC chemokines

These have two adjacent cysteines near the N-terminus. These are called the CC chemokine ligands (CCLs). Twenty-seven members of this group have been identified and are numbered CCL-1 to CCL-28, as CLL-9 is the same as CCl-10. Most of the chemokines in this family contain four cysteines (C4-CC chemokines) but some contain six (C6-CC chemokines). CC chemokines trigger the movement of monocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells.

CXC chemokines

In the case of CXC chemokines, the two cysteines at the N-terminus are separated by an amino acid, which is denoted by an X. Seventeen CXC chemokines have been identified in mammals and are divided into two main groups. Those with the specific amino acid motif -glutamic acid-leucine-arginine - immediately before the first cycteine are termed ELR-positive and those without such a motif are described as ELR-negative.

The ELR-positive CXC chemokines interact with chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 on the surface of neutrophils to induce their recruitment. The ELR-negative CXC chemokines mainly act by attracting lymphocytes towards them.

C chemokines

Members of the third group of chemokines are different to all other chemokines because they have only two cysteines, one at the N-terminus and one downstream. Only two of these chemokines have been identified and these are called XCL1 and XCL2.

CX3C chemokines

Members of this group have two cycteines at the N-terminus that are separated by three amino acids. Only one such chemokine has been discovered to date and is called fractalkine (or CX3CL1). It is both released by and bound to the cell that expresses it and acts as both a chemoattractant and a cell adhesion molecule.

CC chemokines
Name Gene Other name(s) Receptor Uniprot
CCL1 Scya1 I-309, TCA-3 CCR8  
CCL2 Scya2 MCP-1 CCR2 P13500
CCL3 Scya3 MIP-1a CCR1 P10147
CCL4 Scya4 MIP-1ß CCR1, CCR5 P13236
CCL5 Scya5 RANTES CCR5 P13501
CCL6 Scya6 C10, MRP-2 CCR1 P27784
CCL7 Scya7 MARC, MCP-3 CCR2 P80098
CCL8 Scya8 MCP-2 CCR1, CCR2B, CCR5 P80075
CCL9/CCL10 Scya9 MRP-2, CCF18, MIP-1? CCR1 P51670
CCL11 Scya11 Eotaxin CCR2, CCR3, CCR5 P51671
CCL12 Scya12 MCP-5   Q62401
CCL13 Scya13 MCP-4, NCC-1, Ckß10 CCR2, CCR3, CCR5 Q99616
CCL14 Scya14 HCC-1, MCIF, Ckß1, NCC-2, CCL CCR1 Q16627
CCL15 Scya15 Leukotactin-1, MIP-5, HCC-2, NCC-3 CCR1, CCR3 Q16663
CCL16 Scya16 LEC, NCC-4, LMC, Ckß12 CCR1, CCR2, CCR5, CCR8 O15467
CCL17 Scya17 TARC, dendrokine, ABCD-2 CCR4 Q92583
CCL18 Scya18 PARC, DC-CK1, AMAC-1, Ckß7, MIP-4   P55774
CCL19 Scya19 ELC, Exodus-3, Ckß11 CCR7 Q99731
CCL20 Scya20 LARC, Exodus-1, Ckß4 CCR6 P78556
CCL21 Scya21 SLC, 6Ckine, Exodus-2, Ckß9, TCA-4 CCR7 O00585
CCL22 Scya22 MDC, DC/ß-CK CCR4 O00626
CCL23 Scya23 MPIF-1, Ckß8, MIP-3, MPIF-1 CCR1 P55773
CCL24 Scya24 Eotaxin-2, MPIF-2, Ckß6 CCR3 O00175
CCL25 Scya25 TECK, Ckß15 CCR9 O15444
CCL26 Scya26 Eotaxin-3, MIP-4a, IMAC, TSC-1 CCR3 Q9Y258
CCL27 Scya27 CTACK, ILC, Eskine, PESKY, skinkine CCR10 Q9Y4X3
CCL28 Scya28 MEC CCR3, CCR10 Q9NRJ3
CXC chemokines
Name Gene Other name(s) Receptor Uniprot
CXCL1 Scyb1 Gro-a, GRO1, NAP-3, KC CXCR2 P09341
CXCL2 Scyb2 Gro-ß, GRO2, MIP-2a CXCR2 P19875
CXCL3 Scyb3 Gro-?, GRO3, MIP-2ß CXCR2 P19876
CXCL4 Scyb4 PF-4 CXCR3B P02776
CXCL5 Scyb5 ENA-78 CXCR2 P42830
CXCL6 Scyb6 GCP-2 CXCR1, CXCR2 P80162
CXCL7 Scyb7 NAP-2, CTAPIII, ß-Ta, PEP   P02775
CXCL8 Scyb8 IL-8, NAP-1, MDNCF, GCP-1 CXCR1, CXCR2 P10145
CXCL9 Scyb9 MIG, CRG-10 CXCR3 Q07325
CXCL10 Scyb10 IP-10, CRG-2 CXCR3 P02778
CXCL11 Scyb11 I-TAC, ß-R1, IP-9 CXCR3, CXCR7 O14625
CXCL12 Scyb12 SDF-1, PBSF CXCR4, CXCR7 P48061
CXCL13 Scyb13 BCA-1, BLC CXCR5 O43927
CXCL14 Scyb14 BRAK, bolekine   O95715
CXCL15 Scyb15 Lungkine, WECHE   Q9WVL7
C chemokines
Name Gene Other name(s) Receptor Uniprot
XCL1 Scyc1 Lymphotactin a, SCM-1a, ATAC XCR1 P47992
XCL2 Scyc2 Lymphotactin ß, SCM-1ß XCR1 Q9UBD3
CX3C chemokines
Name Gene Other name(s) Receptor Uniprot
CX3CL1 Scyd1 Fractalkine, Neurotactin, ABCD-3 CX3CR1 P78423

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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