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A virokine is a viral cytokine or chemokine that mostly acts as a competitive inhibitor of cytokines or chemokines.


Virokines are produced by viruses for immune evasion and belong to the group of virulence factors . By binding to the cytokine receptors , the cell's own proinflammatory cytokines can only bind to their receptors to a reduced extent and trigger an immune reaction. In some cases, inhibition is also achieved by viral receptors. Anti-inflammatory virokines such as vIL-10 , on the other hand, usually do not lead to an inhibition but to an activation of their respective receptor, which results in a dampening of the immune response. Virokines are found in various herpes viruses , smallpox viruses and HIV . Examples of virokines are the viral interleukin-6 from the human herpes virus 8, the viral interleukin-8 from the Marek's Disease virus , the viral interleukin-10 from the ORF virus and the Epstein-Barr virus , the vMIP I-III from the HHV virus. 8, the Vaccinia Growth Factor and the Vaccinia virus complement control protein from the Vaccinia virus , viral variants of the TNF receptor and the IL-1beta receptor and the p17 of HIV.


The name Virokine was coined in 1988 by Bernard Moss .


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Web links

Individual evidence

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