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    The chemical diversity and structure-based evolution of non-peptide CXCR4 antagonists with diverse therapeutic potential. Peng Dian,Cao Bin,Zhou Ying-Jun,Long Ya-Qiu European journal of medicinal chemistry The CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is a highly reserved G-protein coupled 7-transmembrane (TM) chemokine receptor which consists of 352 amino acids. CXCR4 has only one endogenous chemokine ligand of CXCL12, besides several other natural nonchemokine ligands such as extracellular ubiquitin and noncognate ligand of MIF. CXCR4 strongly binds to CXCL12 and the resulting CXCLl2/CXCR4 axis is the molecular basis of their various biological functions, which include: (1) mediating immune and inflammatory response; (2) regulation of hematopoietic stem cell migration and homing; (3) an essential co-receptor for HIV entry into host cells; (4) participation in the process of embryonic development; (5) malignant tumor invasion and metastasis; (6) myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and acute kidney injury. Correspondingly, CXCR4 antagonists find potential therapeutic applications in HIV infection, as well as hematopoietic stem cell migration, inflammation, immune-related diseases, tumor and ischemic diseases. Recently, great achievements have been made and a number of non-peptide CXCR4 antagonists with diversity scaffolds have been discovered. In this review, the discovery of small molecule CXCR4 antagonists focused on the structures, activities, evolution and development of representative CXCR4 antagonists is comprehensively described. The central role of CXCR4 in diverse cellular signaling pathways and its involvement in several diseases progressions are discussed as well. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.02.043
    Designed CXCR4 mimic acts as a soluble chemokine receptor that blocks atherogenic inflammation by agonist-specific targeting. Kontos Christos,El Bounkari Omar,Krammer Christine,Sinitski Dzmitry,Hille Kathleen,Zan Chunfang,Yan Guangyao,Wang Sijia,Gao Ying,Brandhofer Markus,Megens Remco T A,Hoffmann Adrian,Pauli Jessica,Asare Yaw,Gerra Simona,Bourilhon Priscila,Leng Lin,Eckstein Hans-Henning,Kempf Wolfgang E,Pelisek Jaroslav,Gokce Ozgun,Maegdefessel Lars,Bucala Richard,Dichgans Martin,Weber Christian,Kapurniotu Aphrodite,Bernhagen Jürgen Nature communications Targeting a specific chemokine/receptor axis in atherosclerosis remains challenging. Soluble receptor-based strategies are not established for chemokine receptors due to their discontinuous architecture. Macrophage migration-inhibitory factor (MIF) is an atypical chemokine that promotes atherosclerosis through CXC-motif chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4). However, CXCR4/CXCL12 interactions also mediate atheroprotection. Here, we show that constrained 31-residue-peptides ('msR4Ms') designed to mimic the CXCR4-binding site to MIF, selectively bind MIF with nanomolar affinity and block MIF/CXCR4 without affecting CXCL12/CXCR4. We identify msR4M-L1, which blocks MIF- but not CXCL12-elicited CXCR4 vascular cell activities. Its potency compares well with established MIF inhibitors, whereas msR4M-L1 does not interfere with cardioprotective MIF/CD74 signaling. In vivo-administered msR4M-L1 enriches in atherosclerotic plaques, blocks arterial leukocyte adhesion, and inhibits atherosclerosis and inflammation in hyperlipidemic Apoe mice in vivo. Finally, msR4M-L1 binds to MIF in plaques from human carotid-endarterectomy specimens. Together, we establish an engineered GPCR-ectodomain-based mimicry principle that differentiates between disease-exacerbating and -protective pathways and chemokine-selectively interferes with atherosclerosis. 10.1038/s41467-020-19764-z