Tetraspanin-Fc receptor interactions

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The tetraspanins are a superfamily of membrane glycoproteins which facilitate the interaction of membrane and intracellular signalling molecules (e.g., integrins, pro-growth factors and their receptors, protein kinase-C) in the formation of membrane signalling microdomains (sometimes referred to as the tetraspanin web). A proximal localisation/association of tetraspanins with Fc receptors (FcR) has been implied by the repeated rediscoveries of tetraspanins as the targets of antibodies which activate platelets and other blood cells through co-ligation of FcR. Direct evidence of tetraspanin-FcR interactions has come from immunoprecipitation and co-immunofluorescence studies. The functional effects of this interaction remain unclear, but tetraspanins have been identified as negative regulators of FcR signalling independently of co-ligation, indicating potential roles in modulating FcR function in co-ordination with the activity of other signalling/adhesion molecules in the tetraspanin web. Given their capacity to influence FcR signalling, tetraspanins could provide specific therapeutic targets for immune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3 - 11
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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