Team CRG has had a great 2019 so far!
The first few months of the year saw us publishing some great papers representing the culmination of years of work investigating the roles of chemokines and their receptors in a range of contexts.
First up, in a paper in Immunity in February, Doug and Laura led a Wellcome-funded project undertaking the generation and preliminary analysis of a novel mouse strain that lacks four closely related chemokine receptors, whose overlapping ligand profile and close genomic proximity had hampered dissection of functionality since the discovery of these receptors. You can find our Immunity paper here to learn more about how these mice were generated and what we have discovered so far about the roles of these receptors.
Hot on the heels of Immunity success came another publication, led by Doug, this time snagging the cover of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology in March! Here, we describe a role for CXCR2 in murine adipocyte generation, and the sex-specific impact of its deletion on the size and quantity of these cells. Check out the paper (and the beautiful microscopy that earned them the cover) here.
More recently, our MRC-funded subgroup also enjoyed publication success, with a paper in PLoS Biology in May detailing work spear-headed by former Team CRG member Jenny Lee and brought to publication by Gill and the rest of the team. Here, the group describe a novel function for atypical chemokine receptors in compartmentalisation of the placenta during pregnancy, and the importance of maintaining a barrier between the maternal and embryonic chemokine milieus.
Finally, our tireless leader Prof Graham has published a great review in Trends in Immunology this month, authored with esteemed colleagues Professors Tracy Handel and Amanda Proudfoot. They propose a model wherein glycosaminoglycans facilitate the interaction of soluble “clouds” of chemokines with their receptors and discuss potential therapeutic design implications. Read more about their “Chemokine Cloud” model, and check out the beautifully hand-painted images created by Prof Proudfoot.
With more manuscripts in the works, watch this space for some more great science from Team CRG!