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n. (context protein immunology English) Any of various chemotactic cytokines, produced during inflammation, that organize the leukocytes.


Chemokines (Greek -kinos, movement) are a family of small cytokines, or signaling proteins secreted by cells. Their name is derived from their ability to induce directed chemotaxis in nearby responsive cells; they are chemotactic cytokines.

Cytokine proteins are classified as chemokines according to behavior and structural characteristics. In addition to being known for mediating chemotaxis, chemokines are all approximately 8-10 kilodaltons in mass and have four cysteine residues in conserved locations that are key to forming their 3-dimensional shape.

These proteins have historically been known under several other names including the SIS family of cytokines, SIG family of cytokines, SCY family of cytokines, Platelet factor-4 superfamily or intercrines. Some chemokines are considered pro- inflammatory and can be induced during an immune response to recruit cells of the immune system to a site of infection, while others are considered homeostatic and are involved in controlling the migration of cells during normal processes of tissue maintenance or development. Chemokines are found in all vertebrates, some viruses and some bacteria, but none have been described for other invertebrates.

Chemokines have been classified into four main subfamilies : CXC, CC, CX3C and XC. All of these proteins exert their biological effects by interacting with G protein-linked transmembrane receptors called chemokine receptors, that are selectively found on the surfaces of their target cells.

Usage examples of "chemokine".

The proteins include several chemokines, molecules that stimulate immune system cells.