Among the 33 human tetraspanin proteins, CD151, CD9 and Tspan12 play particularly important roles in cancer. Tetraspanin CD151, in partnership with integrins α6β1 and α6β4, modulates tumour cell growth, invasion, migration, metastasis, signalling and drug sensitivity. Tetraspanin CD9 has suppressor functions in multiple tumour cell types. Major CD9 partner proteins, such as EWI-2 and EWI-F, may modulate these tumour-suppressor functions. Tetraspanin Tspan12 mutations are linked to a human disease called familial exudative vitreoretinopathy. In addition, as a regulator of the metalloprotease ADAM10 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10) maturation and function, Tspan12 probably contributes to the pro-tumorigenic functions of ADAM10.
- β4 integrin
- A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10)