Human CX3CL1 was first cloned in 1997 and the mouse homolog in 1998. CX3CL1 is a relatively large protein consisting of an amino-terminal domain, a mucin-like stalk attached to a transmembrane region that connects the molecule to the plasma membrane, followed by the intracellular domain. CX3CL1 is biologically active either as a membrane-bound protein or as a soluble protein upon proteolytic cleavage from cell membranes. CX3CL1 actions are mediated through interaction with its unique G-protein coupled receptor CX3CR1 (previously called chemokine receptor CKRBRL1, RBS11, or V28). Both CX3CL1 and CX3CR1 are highly abundant in central nervous system (CNS) tissues; CX3CL1 is produced by neurons and CX3CR1 is present on microglial cells. In the periphery, CX3CL1 is produced mostly by endothelial cells and CX3CR1 is expressed on peripheral leukocytes. CX3CL1 plays a role in chemotaxis, cell adhesion, and cellular activation. Notably,...
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