Dendritic cells are potent antigen-presenting cells involved in the initiation of immune responses. The trafficking of these cells to tissues and lymph nodes is mediated by members of the chemokine family. Recently, a novel CC chemokine known as MIP-3α or liver and activation-regulated chemokine has been identified from the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ expressed sequence tag database. In the present study, we have shown that the messenger RNA for MIP-3α is expressed predominantly in inflamed and mucosal tissues. MIP-3α produced either synthetically or by human embryonic kidney 293 cells is chemotactic for CD34+-derived dendritic cells and T cells, but is inactive on monocytes and neutrophils. MIP-3a was unable to displace the binding of specific CC or CXC chemokines to stable cell lines expressing their respective high affinity receptors, namely CCR1-5 and CXCR1 and CXCR2, suggesting that MIP-3α acts through a novel CC chemokine receptor. Therefore, we used degenerate oligonucleotide-based reverse transcriptase PCR to identify candidate MIP- 3α receptors in lung dendritic cells. Our results show that the orphan receptor known as GCY-4, CKRL-3, or STRL-22 is a specific receptor for MIP- 3α, and that its activation leads to pertussis toxin-sensitive and phospholipase C-dependent intracellular Ca2+ mobilization when it is expressed in HEK 293 cells.
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