Human cytomegalovirus encodes a highly specific RANTES decoy receptor

Dai Wang, Wade Bresnahan, Thomas Shenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The human cytomegalovirus pUL21.5 protein is a small, secreted glycoprotein whose mRNA is packaged into virions. We demonstrate that pUL21.5 protein is a soluble CC chemokine receptor that functions as a decoy to modulate the host immune response to infection. In contrast to other viral chemokine-binding proteins, which interact promiscuously with multiple chemokines, pUL21.5 selectively binds RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) with high affinity. By binding RANTES, pUL21.5 blocks RANTES interaction with its cellular receptors. We propose that human cytomegalovirus directs the synthesis of a secreted, virus-coded protein that modulates the host antiviral response even before the newly infecting viral genome becomes transcriptionally active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16642-16647
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 23 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Human cytomegalovirus encodes a highly specific RANTES decoy receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this