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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24901. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024901. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Profiling of the tetraspanin CD151 web and conspiracy of CD151/integrin β1 complex in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Liver Cancer Institute, Shanghai Medical School, Fudan University, Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


Tetraspanin CD151 has been implicated in metastasis through forming complexes with different molecular partners. In this study, we mapped tetraspanin web proteins centered on CD151, in order to explore the role of CD151 complexes in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Immunoprecipitation was used to isolate tetraspanin complexes from HCCLM3 cells using a CD151 antibody, and associated proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. The interaction of CD151 and its molecular partners, and their roles in invasiveness and metastasis of HCC cells were assayed through disruption of the CD151 network. Finally, the clinical implication of CD151 complexes in HCC patients was also examined. In this study, we identified 58 proteins, characterized the tetraspanin CD151 web, and chose integrin β1 as a main partner to further investigate. When the CD151/integrin β1 complex in HCC cells was disrupted, migration, invasiveness, secretion of matrix metalloproteinase 9, and metastasis were markedly influenced. However, both CD151 and integrin β1 expression were untouched. HCC patients with high expression of CD151/integrin β1 complex had the poorest prognosis of the whole cohort of patients. Together, our data show that CD151 acts as an important player in the progression of HCC in an integrin β1-dependent manner.

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