HTLV-1 biofilm polarization maintained by tetraspanin CD82 is required for efficient viral transmission
Coline Arone, Samuel Martial, Julien Burlaud-Gaillard, Maria-Isabel Thoulouze, Philippe Roingeard, Hélène Dutartre, Delphine Muriaux
HTLV-1; tetraspanin; CD82; virus infection; biofilm; virus transmission
The human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is an oncogenic retrovirus whose transmission relies primarily on cell-to-cell contacts as cell-free viruses are poorly infectious. Among the intercellular transmission routes described, HTLV-1 biofilms are adhesive structures polarized at the cell surface that confine virions in a protective environment, which is believed to promote their simultaneous delivery during infection. Here, we show that several tetraspanins are enriched in HTLV-1 biofilms and incorporated into the viral envelope. However, we report that only the tetraspanin CD82 interacts with HTLV-1 Gag proteins which initiates their polarization into viral biofilms. Also, we demonstrate that CD82 maintains HTLV-1 biofilm polarization and favors viral transmission, as its silencing induces a complete reorganization of viral clusters at the cell surface and reduces the ability of infected T-cells to transmit the virus. Our results highlight the crucial role of CD82 and its glycosylation state in the architectural organization of HTLV-1 biofilms and their subsequent transfer through intercellular contacts.