- One of a large group of proteins that act as lures and were first found attracting white blood cells. The chemokines are involved in a wide variety of processes including acute and chronic types of inflammation, infectious diseases, and cancer. Chemokines may lure cancer cells and help determine the sites to which cancer cells spread by metastasis. The first chemokine to be identified was interleukin-8 (IL-8). Other chemokines include platelet factor 4, platelet basic protein, melanoma growth stimulatory protein, macrophage inflammatory protein 2, etc.
* * *che·mo·kine -'kīn n any of a group of chemotactic cytokines that are produced by various cells (as at sites of inflammation), that are thought to provide directional cues for the movement of white blood cells (as T cells, monocytes, and neutrophils), and that include some playing a role in HIV infection because the cell surface receptors to which they bind are also used by specific strains of HIV for entry into cells
* * *che·mo·kine (keґmo-kīn) any of a family of low molecular weight (8–10 kD) cytokines that induce chemotaxis or chemokinesis in leukocytes (or in particular populations of leukocytes). They are classified into four groups, based on the structural arrangement of conserved cysteine: CXC or &agr;, CC or &bgr;, C or &ggr;, and CX3C or &dgr;, where C is cysteine and X is another amino acid. Chemokines are regulators of the immune system and may also play roles in the circulatory and central nervous systems.
Medical dictionary. 2011.