The tetraspanin web revisited by super-resolution microscopy

Zuidscherwoude, Malou.jpg

Recently, Malou Zuidscherwoude from the group of Annemiek van Spriel, Dept. of Tumor Immunology published a new model of the tetraspanin web in Scientific Reports.

Tetraspanins play a major function in the plasma membrane organization of all eukaryotic cells and regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and oncogenesis. Using super-resolution dual color STED microscopy, they demonstrate that tetraspanins (CD53, CD37, CD81, CD82) are expressed in nanoclusters smaller than 120 nm that are randomly distributed on the plasma membrane of immune cells. CD53 and CD81 are found in closer proximity to their partners MHC class II and CD19 than to other tetraspanins challenging the current view of the tetraspanin web with multiple species of tetraspanins organized into a single domain.

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