A broad array of biological responses, including cell polarization, movement, immune and inflammatory responses, and prevention of HIV-1 infection, are triggered by the chemokines, a family of structurally related chemoattractant proteins that bind to specific seven-transmembrane receptors linked to G proteins. Here we discuss one of the early signaling pathways activated by chemokines, the JAK/STAT pathway. Through this pathway, and possibly in conjunction with other signaling pathways, the chemokines promote changes in cellular morphology, collectively known as polarization, required for chemotactic responses. The polarized cell expresses the chemokine receptors at the leading cell edge, to which they are conveyed by rafts, a cholesterol-enriched membrane fraction fundamental to the lateral organization of the plasma membrane. Finally, the mechanisms through which the chemokines promote their effect are discussed in the context of the prevention of HIV-1 infection.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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