RANTES was first identified in a search for genes expressed "late" (3–5 days) after T cell activation. It was subsequently determined to be a CC chemokine and expressed in more than 100 human diseases. RANTES expression is regulated in T lymphocytes by Kruppel like factor 13 (KLF13). RANTES, along with the related chemokines MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta, has been identified as a natural HIV-suppressive factor secreted by activated CD8+ T cells and other immune cells. Recently, the RANTES protein has been engineered for in vivo production by Lactobacillus bacteria, and this solution is being developed into a possible HIV entry-inhibiting topical microbicide.
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