Valérie Wittamer 1 , Jean-Denis Franssen 2 , Marisa Vulcano 3 , Jean-François Mirjolet 1 , Emmanuel Le Poul 2 , Isabelle Migeotte 1 , Stéphane Brézillon 2 , Richard Tyldesley 4 , Cédric Blanpain 1 , Michel Detheux 2 , Alberto Mantovani 3 , 5 , Silvano Sozzani 3 , 6 , Gilbert Vassart 1 , Marc Parmentier 1 , David Communi 1
6 October 2003
Dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that play key roles in both innate and adaptive immunity. ChemR23 is an orphan G protein–coupled receptor related to chemokine receptors, which is expressed specifically in these cell types. Here we present the characterization of chemerin, a novel chemoattractant protein, which acts through ChemR23 and is abundant in a diverse set of human inflammatory fluids. Chemerin is secreted as a precursor of low biological activity, which upon proteolytic cleavage of its COOH-terminal domain, is converted into a potent and highly specific agonist of ChemR23, the chemerin receptor. Activation of chemerin receptor results in intracellular calcium release, inhibition of cAMP accumulation, and phosphorylation of p42–p44 MAP kinases, through the G i class of heterotrimeric G proteins. Chemerin is structurally and evolutionary related to the cathelicidin precursors (antibacterial peptides), cystatins (cysteine protease inhibitors), and kininogens. Chemerin was shown to promote calcium mobilization and chemotaxis of immature DCs and macrophages in a ChemR23-dependent manner. Therefore, chemerin appears as a potent chemoattractant protein of a novel class, which requires proteolytic activation and is specific for APCs.