The chromosomal protein HMGB1 is now regarded as a proinflammatory cytokine. Importantly, HMGB1 has chemotactic activity suggesting its involvement in the early and late events of the inflammatory reaction. Therefore, HMGB1 has all the hallmarks of a chemokine (chemotactic cytokine). We propose to classify HMGB1 into a new group of proteins unrelated structurally to chemokines but having chemokine-like functions, and to name this class CLF (chemokine-like functions). The CLF class should include other unrelated molecules such as urokinase and its receptor, cytokines macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and interleukin (IL)-6, anaphylatoxin C5a, ribosomal protein S19, and thioredoxin that have similar chemokine-like activities. This innovative concept may lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets.