Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Jan;9(1):40-55. doi: 10.1038/nrc2543. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Tetraspanins: push and pull in suppressing and promoting metastasis.

Author information

Department of Tumour Cell Biology, University Hospital of Surgery, Heidelberg, Germany.


Tumours progress through a cascade of events that enable the formation of metastases. Some of the components that are required for this fatal process are well established. Tetraspanins, however, have only recently received attention as both metastasis suppressors and metastasis promoters. This late appreciation is probably due to their capacity to associate with various molecules, which they recruit into special membrane microdomains, and their abundant presence in tumour-derived small vesicles that aid intercellular communication. It is reasonable to assume that differences in the membrane and vesicular web components that associate with individual tetraspanins account for their differing abilities to promote and suppress metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center