The Molecules of HIV

Note: this site last updated in 2006


An article from "The Molecules of HIV" (c) Dan Stowell

Cytokines are signalling proteins, released from cells into the surroundings, which serve a regulatory function. They aren't only used in the immune system - they also serve a purpose in related systems such as wound healing - but the majority of them in the body are secreted by T cells.

A chemokine is a type of cytokine produced in acute and chronic inflammation, with the specific role of mobilising and activating white blood cells.

For some years it has been known that some chemokines can be shown to block HIV replication in laboratory experiments (such as RANTES, MIP1-alpha, MIP1-beta). This is because chemokines compete with HIV to attach to chemokine receptors such as R5">CCR5, CXCR4%20and%20R5">CXCR5">CXCR4 and R5">CXCR5, which HIV uses as coreceptors.

More information about cytokines in general:

Written by
Dan Stowell

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