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Characterization of mice lacking the tetraspanin superfamily member CD151.

Wright MD, Geary SM, Fitter S, Moseley GW, Lau LM, Sheng KC, Apostolopoulos V, Stanley EG, Jackson DE, Ashman LK

  • Journal Molecular and cellular biology

  • Published 04 Aug 2004

  • Volume 24

  • ISSUE 13

  • Pagination 5978-88

  • DOI 10.1128/MCB.24.13.5978-5988.2004


The tetraspanin membrane protein CD151 is a broadly expressed molecule noted for its strong molecular associations with integrins, especially alpha3beta1, alpha6beta1, alpha7beta1, and alpha6beta4. In vitro functional studies have pointed to a role for CD151 in cell-cell adhesion, cell migration, platelet aggregation, and angiogenesis. It has also been implicated in epithelial tumor progression and metastasis. Here we describe the generation and initial characterization of CD151-null mice. The mice are viable, healthy, and fertile and show normal Mendelian inheritance. They have essentially normal blood and bone marrow cell counts and grossly normal tissue morphology, including hemidesmosomes in skin, and expression of alpha3 and alpha6 integrins. However, the CD151-null mice do show phenotypes in several different tissue types. An absence of CD151 leads to a minor abnormality in hemostasis, with CD151-null mice showing longer average bleeding times, greater average blood loss, and an increased incidence of rebleeding occurrences. CD151-null keratinocytes migrate poorly in skin explant cultures. Finally, CD151-null T lymphocytes are hyperproliferative in response to in vitro mitogenic stimulation.