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Inserm, Unité 1054, Single Molecule Biophysics Department, Centre de Biochimie Structurale, 34090, Montpellier, France


CNRS, UMR 5048, Université de Montpellier, 34090, Montpellier, France


Inserm, U602, 94807, Villejuif, France


Université Paris 11, Institut André Lwoff, 94807, Villejuif, France


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract Tetraspanins are four-span membrane proteins that are widely distributed in multi-cellular organisms and involved in several infectious diseases. They have the unique property to form a network of protein-protein interaction within the plasma membrane, due to the lateral associations with one another and with other membrane proteins. Tracking tetraspanins at the single molecule level using fluorescence microscopy has revealed the membrane behavior of the tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 in epithelial cell lines, providing a first dynamic view of this network. Single molecule tracking highlighted that these 2 proteins can freely diffuse within the plasma membrane but can also be trapped, permanently or transiently, in tetraspanin-enriched areas. More recently, a similar strategy has been used to investigate tetraspanin membrane behavior in the context of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus HCV infection. In this review we summarize the main results emphasizing the relationship in terms of membrane partitioning between tetraspanins, some of their partners such as Claudin-1 and EWI-2, and viral proteins during infection. These results will be analyzed in the context of other membrane microdomains, stressing the difference between raft and tetraspanin-enriched microdomains, but also in comparison with virus diffusion at the cell surface. New advanced single molecule techniques that could help to further explore tetraspanin assemblies will be also discussed. View Full-Text

Keywords: Tetraspanin; HIV-1; HCV; Single Molecule; Tracking; microdomain Tetraspanin; HIV-1; HCV; Single Molecule; Tracking; microdomain

Autor: Selma Dahmane 1,2, Eric Rubinstein 3,4 and Pierre-Emmanuel Milhiet 1,2,*



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