In humans, the CCR5 gene that encodes the CCR5 protein is located on the short (p) arm at position 21 on chromosome 3.
Certain populations have inherited the Delta 32 mutation resulting in the genetic deletion of a portion of the CCR5 gene.
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Homozygous carriers of this mutation are resistant to M-tropic strains of HIV-1 infection.
It is likely that CCR5 plays a role in inflammatory responses to infection, though its exact role in normal immune function is unclear.
C-C chemokine receptor type 5, also known as CCR5 or CD195, is a protein on the surface of white blood cells that is involved in the immune system as it acts as a receptor for chemokines.
This is the process by which T cells are attracted to specific tissue and organ targets.
Moreover, at least half of all infected individuals harbor only CCR5-using viruses throughout the course of infection.
CCR5 is the primary co-receptor used by gp120 sequentially with CD4.This bind results in gp41, the other protein product of gp160, to be released from its metastable conformation and insert itself into the membrane of the host cell.Although it hasn't been finalized as a proven theory yet, binding of gp120-CCR5 involves two crucial steps: 1) The tyrosine sulfated amino terminus of this co-receptor is an "essential determinant" of binding to gp120 (as stated previously) 2) Following step 1., there must be reciprocal action (synergy, intercommunication) between gp120 and the CCR5 transmembrane domains These experimental drugs include PRO140 (Cyto Dyn), Vicriviroc (Phase III trials were cancelled in July 2010) (Schering Plough), Aplaviroc (GW-873140) (Glaxo Smith Kline) and Maraviroc (UK-427857) (Pfizer).Individuals heterozygous for the mutant allele have a greater than 50% reduction in functional CCR5 receptors on their cell surfaces due to dimerization between mutant and wild-type receptors that interferes with transport of CCR5 to the cell surface.Heterozygote carriers are resistant to HIV-1 infection relative to wild types and when infected, heterozygotes exhibit reduced viral loads and a 2-3-year-slower progression to AIDS relative to wild types.Maraviroc was approved for use by the FDA in August 2007.