Chemokines regulate leukocyte migration during physiological and pathological conditions. They exert their biological activity through interaction with 7-transmembrane spanning G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and are presented on glycosaminoglycans (GAG) linked to endothelial cell layers. Specific chemokines and chemokine receptors affect angiogenesis or are targets for viral mimicry, e.g. by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Several enzymes, in particular proteases, have been described to process chemokines at specific sites generating chemokine isoforms that were also identified from natural sources. For some chemokines, e.g. CXCL8 and CCL3L1, posttranslational modification results in enhanced biological activity. For CXCL7 and CCL14 truncation is even mandatory for receptor signaling and chemotactic properties. The activity of many other chemokines is down-regulated by processing and receptor antagonists are generated, e.g. for truncated CCL8 and CCL11. Moreover, some processed chemokines such as CCL5(3-68) show enhanced affinity for one receptor (CCR5) and reduced interaction with other receptors (CCR1 and CCR3) resulting in differential changes in leukocyte response. These posttranslational mechanisms, in addition to gene duplication, transcriptional and translational regulation of chemokine ligand and receptor expression, GAG binding properties, expression of "silent" receptors and synergistic interaction between chemokines, modulate chemokine activity in a complex manner. This report reviews current understanding on the regulation of the chemokine network through posttranslational modification and its consequences for leukocyte migration, angiogenesis and protection against viral infection.