Chemokines are a subset of cytokines. They are signaling proteins (composed of 75-125 amino acids), which are responsible for chemotaxis, that is, the movement in cells and tissues, but also in the blood. They are produced and secreted by the cells themselves. The receptive for the respective chemokine cells migrate to where the highest chemokine concentration prevails. This Chemokines play an important role in the immune response, but also in organ development.
According to their chromosomal location there are two subfamilies of Chemokines:
- CXC-Chemokines (also: Alpha-Chemokines, mainly mapped on human chromosome 4; e.g. CXCL8 or rHuIL-8 for chemotaxis of neutrophile cells), with two Cysteine residues at the N-terminal end, separated by one amino acid
- CC-Chemokines (also: Beta-Chemokines, mainly mapped on human chromosome 17; e.g.human HCC-1 or rHuHCC >), with two adjacent Cysteine residues at the Amino-terminal end