Cytokine properties of prokineticins

FEBS J. 2008 Aug;275(16):4014-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2008.06559.x. Epub 2008 Jul 18.


Prokineticins are a novel family of secreted peptides with diverse regulatory roles, one of which is their capacity to modulate immunity in humans and in other species. Prokineticins are small peptides of 8 kDa that mediate their biological activities by signaling through two homologous G-protein-coupled receptors (prokineticin receptor 1 and prokineticin receptor 2). This family of peptides is characterized by a completely conserved N-terminal hexapeptide crucial for their bioactivities and a unique structural motif comprising five disulfide bonds. Prokineticins and their receptors are highly expressed in bone marrow, in peripheral circulating leukocytes, in inflamed tissues and in resident organ immune cells. Their structure, size, signaling and biological activities are reminiscent of the chemokine superfamily. In this review, emphasis is placed on the properties of prokineticins as cytokines and their role in the immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / chemistry
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / chemistry
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Receptors, Peptide / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, Endocrine-Gland-Derived / chemistry
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, Endocrine-Gland-Derived / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, Endocrine-Gland-Derived / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Neuropeptides
  • PROK1 protein, human
  • PROK2 protein, human
  • PROKR1 protein, human
  • PROKR2 protein, human
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, Endocrine-Gland-Derived