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Biochem J. 2003 Jul 15;373(Pt 2):409-21.

EWI-2 is a new component of the tetraspanin web in hepatocytes and lymphoid cells.

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  • 1INSERM U268, Institut André Lwoff, Hôpital Paul Brousse, 14 Av Paul Vaillant Couturier, Villejuif 94807 Cedex, France.


Several tetraspanins bind directly to a few molecular partners to form primary complexes, which might assemble through tetraspanin-tetraspanin interactions to form a network of molecular interactions, the tetraspanin web. We have produced a monoclonal antibody directed to a 63 kDa molecule (determined under non-reducing conditions) associated with CD9. This molecule was first identified by MS as a molecule with four Ig domains, EWI-2. Like the related molecule CD9P-1, EWI-2 was found to be a partner not only for CD9, but also for CD81, a tetraspanin required for hepatic infection by the parasite responsible for malaria, and also a putative hepatitis C virus receptor. Using chimaeric CD9/CD82 molecules, two separate regions of CD9 of 40 and 47 amino acids were demonstrated to confer the ability to interact with EWI-2. Both EWI-2 and CD9P-1 were detected in the human liver at the surface of hepatocytes and were found to associate with CD81 on freshly isolated hepatocytes. EWI-2 also co-localized with CD81 in the liver. CD9P-1 was not detected on most peripheral blood cells, whereas EWI-2 was expressed on the majority of B-, T- and natural killer cells and was not detected on monocytes, polynuclear cells or platelets. This distribution is identical to that of CD81. Finally, EWI-2 associated with all tetraspanins studied after lysis under conditions preserving tetraspanin-tetraspanin interactions, showing that EWI-2 is a new component of the tetraspanin web.

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