Structural basis of ligand interactions of the large extracellular domain of tetraspanin CD81.
ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and primary liver cancer. Despite 130 million people being at risk worldwide, no vaccine exists, and effective therapy is limited by drug resistance, toxicity, and high costs. The tetraspanin CD81 is an essential entry-level receptor required for HCV infection of hepatocytes and represents a critical target for intervention. In this study, we report the first structural characterization of the large extracellular loop of CD81, expressed in mammalian cells and studied in physiological solutions. The HCV E2 glycoprotein recognizes CD81 through a dynamic loop on the helical bundle, which was shown by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to adopt a conformation distinct from that seen in crystals. A novel membrane binding interface was revealed adjacent to the exposed HCV interaction site in the extracellular loop of CD81. The binding pockets for two proposed inhibitors of the CD81-HCV interaction, namely, benzyl salicylate and fexofenadine, were shown to overlap the HCV and membrane interaction sites. Although the dynamic loop region targeted by these compounds presents challenges for structure-based design, the NMR assignments enable realistic screening and validation of ligands. Together, these data provide an improved avenue for developing potent agents that specifically block CD81-HCV interaction and also pave a way for elucidating the recognition mechanisms of diverse tetraspanins.
Project description:Background: Tetraspanins are small transmembrane proteins, found in all higher eukaryotes, that compartmentalize cellular membranes through interactions with partner proteins. CD81 is a prototypical tetraspanin and contributes to numerous physiological and pathological processes, including acting as a critical entry receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Antibody engagement of tetraspanins can induce a variety of effects, including actin cytoskeletal rearrangements, activation of MAPK-ERK signaling and cell migration. However, the epitope specificity of most anti-tetraspanin antibodies is not known, limiting mechanistic interpretation of these studies. Methods: We generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for CD81 second extracellular domain (EC2) and performed detailed epitope mapping with a panel of CD81 mutants. All mAbs were screened for their ability to inhibit HCV infection and E2-CD81 association. Nanoscale distribution of cell surface CD81 was investigated by scanning electron microscopy. Results: The antibodies were classified in two epitope groups targeting opposing sides of EC2. We observed a wide range of anti-HCV potencies that were independent of their epitope grouping, but associated with their relative affinity for cell-surface expressed CD81. Scanning electron microscopy identified at least two populations of CD81; monodisperse and higher-order assemblies, consistent with tetraspanin-enriched microdomains. Conclusions: These novel antibodies provide well-characterised tools to investigate CD81 function, including HCV entry, and have the potential to provide insights into tetraspanin biology in general.
Project description:Tetraspanins are master organizers in the plasma membrane, forming tetraspanin-enriched microdomains with one another and other surface molecules. Their rod-shaped structure includes a large extracellular loop (LEL) that plays a pivotal role in tetraspanin network formation. We performed comparative atomistic and coarse-grain molecular-dynamics simulations of the LEL in isolation and full-length CD81, and reproduced LEL flexibility patterns known from wet-lab experiments in which the LEL ?-loop region showed a pronounced flexibility. In a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine lipid bilayer and a plasma membrane environment, the conformational flexibility of the ?-loop initiates CD81-CD81 contacts for oligomerization. Furthermore, in the plasma membrane, CD81-ganglioside bridges arising from preformed glycolipid patches cross-link the complexes. The data suggest that exposing a flexible domain enables binding to interaction partners by circumventing the restriction of orientation and conformational freedom of membrane proteins.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) enters human hepatocytes using four essential entry factors, one of which is human CD81 (hCD81). The tetraspanin hCD81 contains a large extracellular loop (LEL), which interacts with the E2 glycoprotein of HCV. The role of the non-LEL regions of hCD81 (intracellular tails, four transmembrane domains, small extracellular loop and intracellular loop) is poorly understood. Here, we studied the contribution of these domains to HCV susceptibility of hepatoma cells by generating chimeras of related tetraspanins with the hCD81 LEL. Our results show that non-LEL regions in addition to the LEL determine susceptibility of cells to HCV. While closely related tetraspanins (X. tropicalis CD81 and D. rerio CD81) functionally complement hCD81 non-LEL regions, distantly related tetraspanins (C. elegans TSP9 amd D. melanogaster TSP96F) do not and tetraspanins with intermediate homology (hCD9) show an intermediate phenotype. Tetraspanin homology and susceptibility to HCV correlate positively. For some chimeras, infectivity correlates with surface expression. In contrast, the hCD9 chimera is fully surface expressed, binds HCV E2 glycoprotein but is impaired in HCV receptor function. We demonstrate that a cholesterol-coordinating glutamate residue in CD81, which hCD9 lacks, promotes HCV infection. This work highlights the hCD81 non-LEL regions as additional HCV susceptibility-determining factors.
Project description:Tetraspanins are cell membrane-scaffolding proteins interacting with one another and a repertoire of interaction partners. Through these interactions, they form extended molecular networks as tetraspanin webs or tetraspanin-enriched microdomains. Microscopic data suggest that these networks contain tetraspanin clusters, with poor overlap between clusters formed by different tetraspanins. Here, we investigate the possibility of targeting tetraspanins CD9 or CD151 to clusters formed by the tetraspanin CD81. We find that the ?-loop from the large extracellular domain of CD81 is sufficient for targeting of CD9/CD151 to CD81 clusters. Moreover, in a pull-down assay, CD9 coprecipitates more CD81 when it carries the CD81 ?-loop. In conclusion, the information for forming homomeric CD81 clusters is encoded in the ?-loop.
Project description:Tetraspanins are integral transmembrane proteins organized in microdomains displaying specific and direct interactions with other tetraspanins and molecular partners. Among them, CD81 has been implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. CD81 also plays a crucial role in pathogen entry into host cells, including hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry into hepatocytes. HCV is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV entry into hepatocytes is a complex process that requires the coordinated interaction of viral and host factors for the initiation of infection, including CD81, scavenger receptor BI, claudin-1, occludin, membrane-bound host cell kinases, Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1, Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (HRas), CD63 and transferrin receptor 1. Furthermore, recent data in HCV model systems have demonstrated that targeting critical components of tetraspanins and associated cell membrane proteins open new avenues to prevent and treat viral infection.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that invades epithelial cells by subverting two cellular receptors, E-cadherin and Met. We recently identified type II phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases alpha and beta (PI4KIIalpha and PI4KIIbeta) as being required for bacterial entry downstream of Met. In this work, we investigated whether tetraspanins CD9, CD63, and CD81, which figure among the few described molecular partners of PI4KIIalpha, function as molecular adaptors recruiting PI4KIIalpha to the bacterial entry site. We observed by fluorescence microscopy that CD9, CD63, and CD81 are expressed and detected at the cellular surface and also within intracellular compartments, particularly in the case of CD63. In resting cells, colocalization of tetraspanins and PI4KIIalpha is detectable only in restricted areas of the perinuclear region. Upon infection with Listeria, endogenous CD9, CD63, and CD81 were recruited to the bacterial entry site but did not colocalize strictly with endogenous PI4KIIalpha. Live-cell imaging confirmed that tetraspanins and PI4KIIalpha do not follow the same recruitment dynamics to the Listeria entry site. Depletion of CD9, CD63, and CD81 levels by small interfering RNA demonstrated that CD81 is required for bacterial internalization, identifying for the first time a role for a member of the tetraspanin family in the entry of Listeria into target cells. Moreover, depletion of CD81 inhibits the recruitment of PI4KIIalpha but not that of the Met receptor to the bacterial entry site, suggesting that CD81 may act as a membrane organizer required for the integrity of signaling events occurring at Listeria entry sites.
Project description:CD81 and its binding partner CD19 are core subunits of the B cell co-receptor complex. While CD19 belongs to the extensively studied Ig superfamily, CD81 belongs to a poorly understood family of four-pass transmembrane proteins called tetraspanins. Tetraspanins play important physiological roles by controlling protein trafficking and other processes. Here, we show that CD81 relies on its ectodomain to traffic CD19 to the cell surface. Moreover, the anti-CD81 antibody 5A6, which binds selectively to activated B cells, recognizes a conformational epitope on CD81 that is masked when CD81 is bound to CD19. Mutations of CD81 in this interface suppress its CD19 export activity. These data indicate that the CD81 - CD19 interaction is dynamically regulated upon B cell activation and this dynamism can be exploited to regulate B cell function. These results are not only valuable for understanding B cell biology, but also have important implications for understanding tetraspanin function generally.
Project description:Integrin ?3?1 potently promotes cell motility on its ligands, laminin-332 and laminin-511, and this may help to explain why ?3?1 has repeatedly been linked to breast carcinoma progression and metastasis. The pro-migratory functions of ?3?1 depend strongly on lateral interactions with cell surface tetraspanin proteins. Tetraspanin CD151 interacts directly with the ?3 integrin subunit and links ?3?1 integrin to other tetraspanins, including CD9 and CD81. Loss of CD151 disrupts ?3?1 association with other tetraspanins and impairs ?3?1-dependent motility. However, the extent to which tetraspanins other than CD151 are required for specific ?3?1 functions is unclear. To begin to clarify which aspects of ?3?1 function require which tetraspanins, we created breast carcinoma cells depleted of both CD9 and CD81 by RNA interference. Silencing both of these closely related tetraspanins was required to uncover their contributions to ?3?1 function. We then directly compared our CD9/CD81-silenced cells to CD151-silenced cells. Both CD9/CD81-silenced cells and CD151-silenced cells showed delayed ?3?1-dependent cell spreading on laminin-332. Surprisingly, however, once fully spread, CD9/CD81-silenced cells, but not CD151-silenced cells, displayed impaired ?3?1-dependent directed motility and altered front-rear cell morphology. Also unexpectedly, the CD9/CD81 complex, but not CD151, was required to promote ?3?1 association with PKC? in breast carcinoma cells, and a PKC inhibitor mimicked aspects of the CD9/CD81-silenced cell motility defect. Our data reveal overlapping, but surprisingly distinct contributions of specific tetraspanins to ?3?1 integrin function. Importantly, some of CD9/CD81's ?3?1 regulatory functions may not require CD9/CD81 to be physically linked to ?3?1 by CD151.
Project description:The tetraspanin web is composed of a network of tetraspanins and their partner proteins that facilitate cellular interactions and fusion events by an unknown mechanism. Our aim was to unravel the web partnership between the tetraspanin CD81 and CD19, a cell surface signaling molecule in B lymphocytes. We found that CD81 plays multiple roles in the processing, intracellular trafficking, and membrane functions of CD19. Surprisingly, these different roles are embodied in distinct CD81 domains, which function in the different cellular compartments: the N-terminal tail of CD81 has an effect on the glycosylation of CD19; the first transmembrane domain of CD81 is sufficient to support the exit of CD19 from the endoplasmic reticulum, although the large extracellular loop (LEL) of CD81 associates physically with CD19 early during biosynthesis; and finally, the TM2 and TM3 domains of CD81 play a role in the transmission of signals initiated upon engagement of the LEL. The participation of distinct CD81 domains in varied functions may explain the pleiotropic effects of CD81 within the tetraspanin web.
Project description:Tetraspanins are a superfamily of transmembrane proteins implicated in cellular development, motility, and activation through their interactions with a large range of proteins and with specific membrane microdomains. The complete three-dimensional structure of the tetraspanin CD81 has been predicted by molecular modeling and from the crystallographic structure of the EC2 large extracellular domain. Periodicity of sequence conservation, homology modeling, secondary structure prediction, and protein docking were used. The transmembrane domain appears organized as a four-stranded left-handed coiled coil directly connecting to two helices of the EC2. A smaller extracellular loop EC1 contains a small largely hydrophobic beta-strand that packs in a conserved hydrophobic groove of the EC2. The palmitoylable intracellular N-terminal segment forms an amphipathic membrane-parallel helix. Structural variability occurs mainly in an hypervariable subdomain of the EC2 and in intracellular regions. Therefore, the variable interaction selectivity of tetraspanins originates both from sequence variability within structurally conserved domains and from the occurrence of small structurally variable domains. In CD81 and other tetraspanins, the numerous membrane-exposed aromatic residues are asymmetrically clustered and protrude on one side of the transmembrane domain. This may represent a functional specialization of these two sides for interactions with cholesterol, proteins, or membrane microdomains.