FAM19A4 is a novel cytokine ligand of formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) and is able to promote the migration and phagocytosis of macrophages

Cell Mol Immunol. 2015 Sep;12(5):615-24. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2014.61. Epub 2014 Aug 11.


FAM19A4 is an abbreviation for family with sequence similarity 19 (chemokine (C-C motif)-like) member A4, which is a secretory protein expressed in low levels in normal tissues. The biological functions of FAM19A4 remain to be determined, and its potential receptor(s) is unclarified. In this study, we demonstrated that FAM19A4 was a classical secretory protein and we verified for the first time that its mature protein is composed of 95 amino acids. We found that the expression of this novel cytokine was upregulated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated monocytes and macrophages and was typically in polarized M1. FAM19A4 shows chemotactic activities on macrophages and enhances the macrophage phagocytosis of zymosan both in vitro and in vivo with noticeable increases of the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt). FAM19A4 can also increase the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon zymosan stimulation. Furthermore, based on receptor internalization, radio ligand binding assays and receptor blockage, we demonstrated for the first time that FAM19A4 is a novel ligand of formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1). The above data indicate that upon inflammatory stimulation, monocyte/macrophage-derived FAM19A4 may play a crucial role in the migration and activation of macrophages during pathogenic infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement*
  • Chemotaxis
  • Cytokines / chemistry
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Ligands
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monocytes / pathology
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cytokines
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • TAFA4 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt