Differential modes of regulation of CXC chemokine-induced internalization and recycling of human CXCR1 and CXCR2

Rotem Feniger-Barish, Maya Ran, Alon Zaslaver, Adit Ben-Baruch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Studies of human neutrophil IL-8 receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2, have shown that the two receptors are differentially regulated by ELR+-CXC chemokines, that they differ functionally and may have diverse roles in mediating the inflammatory process. To elucidate the role of CXCR1 and CXCR2 in inflammation and to delineate the basis for the divergent regulation of these receptors by IL-8 and NAP-2, we characterized the IL-8- and NAP-2-induced mechanisms regulating the expression of each receptor, focusing on receptor internalization and recycling. Using HEK 293 cell transfectants, IL-8 was shown to induce significantly higher levels of CXCR2 internalization than NAP-2. Moreover, although CXCR2 bound IL-8 and NAP-2 with similarly high affinity, IL-8 functionally competed with and displaced NAP-2, and prompted high levels of internalization, similar to those induced by IL-8 alone. In a system providing an identical cellular milieu for reliable comparisons between CXCR1 and CXCR2, we have shown that the mechanisms controlling the internalization of CXCR1 diverge from those regulating CXCR2 internalization. Whereas IL-8-induced internalization of CXCR1 was profoundly dependent on a region of the carboxyl terminus expressing six phosphorylation sites, internalization of CXCR2 was primarily regulated by a membrane proximal domain of the carboxyl terminus that does not express phosphorylation sites. Analysis of receptor re-expression on the plasma membrane indicated that at early time points following removal of free ligand and incubation of the cells at 37°C, receptor recycling accounted for recovery of CXCR1 and CXCR2 expression, whereas at later time points other processes may be involved in receptor re-expression. Phosphorylation-independent mechanisms were shown to direct both receptors to the recycling pathway. The differential control of CXCR1 vs CXCR2 internalization by IL-8 and NAP-2, as well as by phosphorylation-mediated mechanisms, suggests that a chemokine- and receptor-specific mode of regulation of internalization may contribute to the divergent activities of these receptors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)996-1009
Number of pages14
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr J. J. Oppenheim for critically reviewing the initial draft of the manuscript and Dr J. M. Wang for his assistance in the statistical analysis of the Scatchard data. This research was supported by Grant No. 97-00143 from the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel.


  • CXC chemokines
  • CXCR1
  • CXCR2
  • Internalization
  • Recycling


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