Medical microbiology and immunology
HPV caught in the tetraspanin web?
Finke, J., Hitschler, L., Boller, K., Florin, L., & Lang, T.
CD151, CD63, Actin, OBSL1, Papillomavirus, Pathogen endocytosis, Microdomains, Protein nanoclustering
Tetraspanins are master organizers of the cell membrane. Recent evidence suggests that tetraspanins themselves may become crowded by virus particles and that these crowds/aggregates co-internalize with the viral particles. Using microscopy, we studied human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16-dependent aggregates on the cell surface of tetraspanin overexpressing keratinocytes. We find that aggregates are (1) rich in at least two different tetraspanins, (2) three-dimensional architectures extending up to several micrometers into the cell, and (3) decorated intracellularly by filamentous actin. Moreover, in cells not overexpressing tetraspanins, we note that obscurin-like protein 1 (OBSL1), which is thought to be a cytoskeletal adaptor, associates with filamentous actin. We speculate that HPV contact with the cell membrane could trigger the formation of a large tetraspanin web. This web may couple the virus contact site to the intracellular endocytic actin machinery, possibly involving the cytoskeletal adaptor protein OBSL1. Functionally, such a tetraspanin web could serve as a virus entry platform, which is co-internalized with the virus particle.