Swapping N-terminal regions among tick evasins reveals cooperative interactions influencing chemokine binding and selectivity

Pramod Aryal, Shankar Raj Devkota, Devadharshini Jeevarajah, Ruby Law, Richard J. Payne, Ram Prasad Bhusal, Martin J. Stone

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Class A tick evasins are natural chemokine-binding proteins that block the signaling of multiple chemokines from the CC subfamily through their cognate receptors, thus suppressing leukocyte recruitment and inflammation. Development of tick evasins as chemokine-targeted anti-inflammatory therapeutics requires an understanding of the factors controlling their chemokine recognition and selectivity. To investigate the role of the evasin N-terminal region for chemokine recognition, we prepared chimeric evasins by interchanging the N-terminal regions of four class A evasins, including a newly identified evasin, EVA-RPU02. We show through chemokine binding analysis of the parental and chimeric evasins that the N-terminal region is critical for chemokine binding affinity and selectivity. Notably, we found some chimeras were unable to bind certain cognate chemokine ligands of both parental evasins. Moreover, unlike any natural evasins characterized to date, some chimeras exhibited specific binding to a single chemokine. These results indicate that the evasin N terminus interacts cooperatively with the “body” of the evasin to enable optimum chemokine recognition. Furthermore, the altered chemokine selectivity of the chimeras validates the approach of engineering the N termini of evasins to yield unique chemokine recognition profiles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102382
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • binding
  • chemokine
  • cooperativity
  • evasin
  • inflammation

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