- Ren M, Guo Q, Guo L, Lenz M, Qian F, Koenen RR, Xu H, Schilling AB, Weber C, Ye RD, Dinner AR, Tang WJ
- Polymerization of MIP-1 chemokine (CCL3 and CCL4) and clearance of MIP-1 by insulin-degrading enzyme.
- EMBO J. 2010 Oct 19.
- Macrophage inflammatory protein-1 (MIP-1), MIP-1alpha (CCL3) and MIP-1beta (CCL4) are chemokines crucial for immune responses towards infection and inflammation. Both MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta form high-molecular-weight aggregates. Our crystal structures reveal that MIP-1 aggregation is a polymerization process and human MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta form rod-shaped, double-helical polymers. Biophysical analyses and mathematical modelling show that MIP-1 reversibly forms a polydisperse distribution of rod-shaped polymers in solution. Polymerization buries receptor-binding sites of MIP-1alpha, thus depolymerization mutations enhance MIP-1alpha to arrest monocytes onto activated human endothelium. However, same depolymerization mutations render MIP-1alpha ineffective in mouse peritoneal cell recruitment. Mathematical modelling reveals that, for a long-range chemotaxis of MIP-1, polymerization could protect MIP-1 from proteases that selectively degrade monomeric MIP-1. Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) is identified as such a protease and decreased expression of IDE leads to elevated MIP-1 levels in microglial cells. Our structural and proteomic studies offer a molecular basis for selective degradation of MIP-1. The regulated MIP-1 polymerization and selective inactivation of MIP-1 monomers by IDE could aid in controlling the MIP-1 chemotactic gradient for immune surveillance.