Chemerin is a widely distributed multifunctional secreted protein implicated in immune cell migration, adipogenesis, osteoblastogenesis, angiogenesis, myogenesis, and glucose homeostasis. Chemerin message is regulated by nuclear receptor agonists, metabolic signaling proteins and intermediates, and proinflammatory cytokines. Following translation chemerin is secreted as an inactive pro-protein, and its secretion can be regulated depending on cell type. Chemerin bioactivity is largely dependent on carboxyl-terminal proteolytic processing and removal of inhibitory residues. Chemerin is abundant in human epidermis where it is well-placed to provide barrier protection. In host defense, chemerin plays dual roles as a broad spectrum antimicrobial protein and as a leukocyte attractant for macrophages, dendritic cells, and NK cells. Here we review the mechanisms underlying chemerin regulation and its function in host defense.
Keywords: Chemerin; adipokine; antimicrobial peptide; chemoattractant; host defense.