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Characterization of tetraspanins CD9, CD53, CD63, and CD81 in monocytes and macrophages in HIV-1 infection.

Tippett E, Cameron PU, Marsh M, Crowe SM

  • Journal Journal of leukocyte biology

  • Published 09 Apr 2013

  • Volume 93

  • ISSUE 6

  • Pagination 913-20

  • DOI 10.1189/jlb.0812391


Tetraspanins are a family of membrane-organizing proteins that mediate diverse functions. Little is known of their expression or function in myeloid cells. Here, expression of CD9, CD53, CD63, and CD81, tetraspanins that have been implicated in HIV-1 pathogenesis, were characterized in normal monocyte subsets, in MDM, and in HIV-1-infected donors. We show that tetraspanins are expressed differentially by monocyte subsets, with higher CD9 and CD63 and lower CD53 and CD81 levels on CD14++CD16- monocytes compared with CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ subsets. Maturation of monocytes resulted in increased CD9 expression and apparent relocation of CD63 and CD53 from surface to intracellular membranes. Expression was modulated by cytokines, and CD9 was a marker of anti-inflammatory and CD53 a marker of proinflammatory MDM. Tetraspanin expression on monocyte subsets from HIV-1-infected donors receiving antiretroviral therapy was unchanged compared with that in uninfected donors. However, CD53 expression was inversely correlated with viral load in HIV-1-infected donors not on therapy. This study is the first to comprehensively characterize tetraspanin expression on monocyte subsets and macrophages in health and during HIV-1 infection. It demonstrates regulation of tetraspanin expression by cytokines, and CD53 expression as a novel correlate of a proinflammatory phenotype. This paper characterizes tetraspanins in myeloid cells and shows that tetraspanins are expressed differentially in monocyte subsets and are modified in inflammatory conditions.