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Tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 are molecular partners of trimeric FcɛRI on human antigen-presenting cells


  • Edited by: Hans-Uwe Simon

Prof. Natalija Novak, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany.
Tel.: +49-228-287-15370
Fax: +49-228-287-14333


To cite this article: Peng WM, Yu CF, Kolanus W, Mazzocca A, Bieber T, Kraft S, Novak N. Tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 are molecular partners of trimeric FcɛRI on human antigen-presenting cells. Allergy 2011; 66: 605–611.


Background:  Most functions of tetraspanins are not related to cell-surface receptor ligand binding, but are mediated by direct interactions with their partner proteins. Functions of trimeric FcɛRI, expressed by antigen-presenting cells (APCs), range from amplification of allergic inflammatory reactions to their active suppression. Cell-type-specific protein–protein interactions might play a role in the regulation of these bidirectional tasks. Therefore, we intended to study the interactions of trimeric FcɛRI with tetraspanins.

Methods:  The expression levels of tetraspanins CD9, CD37, CD53, CD63, CD81, CD82, and CD151 on skin dendritic cells of atopic dermatitis (AD) patients or healthy individuals were detected by flow cytometry. Tetraspanin expression on FcɛRIpos and FcɛRIneg monocyte subpopulations was evaluated. Flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, immunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting experiments were performed to observe the relationship between tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 and FcɛRI. Furthermore, plate stimulation experiments were performed, and cytokines in the supernatants were detected.

Results:  We found that human FcɛRIpos APCs expressed high amounts of tetraspanins and that the tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 were associated with FcɛRI. Concomitant activation of FcɛRI and CD9 on human monocytes increased FcɛRI-mediated cytokine release.

Conclusion:  Taken together, we show for the first time that CD9 and CD81 act as molecular partners of trimeric FcɛRI on human APC, which might be of importance in allergic diseases such as AD.