Antibodies Targeting Chemokine Receptors CXCR4 and ACKR3

Mol Pharmacol. 2019 Dec;96(6):753-764. doi: 10.1124/mol.119.116954. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


Dysregulation of the chemokine system is implicated in a number of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as well as cancer. Modulation of chemokine receptor function is a very promising approach for therapeutic intervention. Despite interest from academic groups and pharmaceutical companies, there are currently few approved medicines targeting chemokine receptors. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antibody-based molecules have been successfully applied in the clinical therapy of cancer and represent a potential new class of therapeutics targeting chemokine receptors belonging to the class of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Besides conventional mAbs, single-domain antibodies and antibody scaffolds are also gaining attention as promising therapeutics. In this review, we provide an extensive overview of mAbs, single-domain antibodies, and other antibody fragments targeting CXCR4 and ACKR3, formerly referred to as CXCR7. We discuss their unique properties and advantages over small-molecule compounds, and also refer to the molecules in preclinical and clinical development. We focus on single-domain antibodies and scaffolds and their utilization in GPCR research. Additionally, structural analysis of antibody binding to CXCR4 is discussed. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Modulating the function of GPCRs, and particularly chemokine receptors, draws high interest. A comprehensive review is provided for monoclonal antibodies, antibody fragments, and variants directed at CXCR4 and ACKR3. Their advantageous functional properties, versatile applications as research tools, and use in the clinic are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Receptors, CXCR / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, CXCR / metabolism*
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism*
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / administration & dosage*
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / metabolism*


  • ACKR3 protein, human
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • Receptors, CXCR
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Single-Domain Antibodies