Viruses encode a variety of mechanisms to evade host immune pathways. Large DNA viruses (herpesviruses and poxviruses) encode proteins that mimic chemokines and chemokine receptors. Also, some viruses encode secreted proteins that bind chemokines and have structure unrelated to host proteins. Recent research in this area has led to the identification of new viral proteins that modulate the chemokine system, has provided information on the molecular mechanisms leading to interference of chemokine signaling, and has shed light into the function of these proteins in the context of infection. The therapeutic value of these viral proteins to inhibit immune responses that cause pathology has been explored further. Finally, a new family of chemokine binding proteins identified in ticks expands this strategy of immune modulation beyond the virus world.
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