Defining the anti-inflammatory activity of a potent myxomaviral chemokine modulating protein, M-T7, through site directed mutagenesis

M. Y. Bartee, H. Chen, E. Dai, L. Y. Liu, J. A. Davids, A. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Viral chemokine modulating proteins provide new and extensive sources for therapeutics. Purified M-T7, a poxvirus-derived secreted immunomodulatory protein, reduces mononuclear cell invasion and atheroma in rodent models of angioplasty injury as well as aortic and renal transplant, improving renal allograft survival. M-T7 is a rabbit species-specific interferon gamma receptor (IFNγR) homolog, but also inhibits chemokine/glycosaminoglycan (GAG) interactions for C, CC and CXC chemokines, with cross-species specific inhibitory activity. M-T7 anti-atheroma activity is blunted in GAG deficient mouse aortic transplants, but not in CC chemokine receptor deficient transplants, supporting M-T7 interference in chemokine/GAG interactions as the basis of the atheroma-inhibitory activity. We have assessed point mutants of M-T7 both in vivo in a mouse angioplasty model and in vitro in tissue culture and binding assays, in order to better define the primary mechanism of anti-atheroma activity. Of these M-T7 mutants, the R171E and E209I M-T7 mutants lost inhibitory activity for plaque growth in hyperlipidemic ApoE-/- mice after angioplasty injury and R171E, moreover, greatly exacerbated plaque growth and inflammation. F137D retained some inhibitory activity for plaque growth. In contrast, for cell migration assays, M-T7-His6X, F137D, R171E, and E209I all inhibited CC chemokine (RANTES) mediated cell migration. For the ligand binding assays, R171E and E209I had significantly reduced binding to RANTES and IFNγ, whereas F137D retained wild-type binding activity. Heparin treatment further reduced RANTES binding of all three M-T7 mutants. In summary, point mutations of M-T7, R171E and E209I, exhibited reduced anti-inflammatory properties in vivo after mouse angioplasty with a loss of in vitro binding to RANTES and IFNγ, indicating these point mutations partially disrupt M-T7 ligand-binding activities. Unexpectedly, the M-T7 mutants all retained inhibitory activity for human monocyte THP-1 cell migration ex vivo, suggesting additional inhibitory properties against human monocyte THP-1 cells that are independent of chemokine inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokine
  • Glycosaminoglycan
  • Inflammation
  • Vascular
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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