Modulation of chemokine receptor activity through dimerization and crosstalk

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Apr;66(8):1370-86. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-8666-1.


Chemokines are small, secreted proteins that bind to the chemokine receptor subfamily of class A G protein-coupled receptors. Collectively, these receptor-ligand pairs are responsible for diverse physiological responses including immune cell trafficking, development and mitogenic signaling, both in the context of homeostasis and disease. However, chemokines and their receptors are not isolated entities, but instead function in complex networks involving homo- and heterodimer formation as well as crosstalk with other signaling complexes. Here the functional consequences of chemokine receptor activity, from the perspective of both direct physical associations with other receptors and indirect crosstalk with orthogonal signaling pathways, are reviewed. Modulation of chemokine receptor activity through these mechanisms has significant implications in physiological and pathological processes, as well as drug discovery and drug efficacy. The integration of signals downstream of chemokine and other receptors will be key to understanding how cells fine-tune their response to a variety of stimuli, including therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Receptor Cross-Talk*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Chemokine