Monomeric monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) binds and activates the MCP-1 receptor CCR2B

Chad D. Paavola, Stefan Hemmerich, Dorit Grunberger, Irene Polsky, Adam Bloom, Richard Freedman, Mary Mulkins, Sunhil Bhakta, Debbie McCarley, Ludwig Wiesent, Belinda Wong, Kurt Jarnagin, Tracy M. Handelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


To address the role of dimerization in the function of the mon ocyte chemoattractant protein-1, MCP-1, we mutated residues that comprise the core of the dimerization interface and characterized the ability of these mutants to dimerize and to bind and activate the MCP-1 receptor, CCR2b. One mutant, P8A*, does not dimerize. However, it has wild type binding affinity, stimulates cherootaxis, inhibits adenylate cyclase, and stimulates calcium influx with wild type potency and efficacy. These data suggest that MCP-1 binds and activates its receptor as a monomer. In contrast, Y13A*, another monometic mutant, has a 100-fold weaker binding affinity, is a much less potent inhibitor of adenylate cyclase and stimulator of calcium influx, and is unable to stimulate cherootaxis. Thus Tyr 13 may make important contacts with the receptor that are required for high affinity binding and signal transduction. We also explored whether a mutant, [1+9-76]MCP-1 (MCP-1 lacking residues 2-8), antagonizes wild type MCP-1 by competitive inhibition, or by a dominant negative mechanism wherein heterodimers of MCP-1 and [1+9-76]MCP-1 bind to the receptor but are signaling incompetent. Consistent with the finding that MCP-1 can bind and activate the receptor as a monomer, we demonstrate that binding of MCP-1 in the presence of [1+9-76]MCP-1 over a range of concentrations of both ligands fits well to a simple model in which monomeric [1+9-76]MCP-1 functions as a competitive inhibitor of monomeric MCP-1. These results are crucial for elucidating the molecular details of receptor binding and activation, for interpreting mutagenesis data, for understanding how antagonistic chemokine variants function, and for the design of receptor antagonists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33157-33165
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 11 1998


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