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08.05.2020 | Original Investigation Open Access

Tetraspanin CD9 affects HPV16 infection by modulating ADAM17 activity and the ERK signalling pathway

Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Snježana Mikuličić, Anna Fritzen, Konstanze Scheffer, Johannes Strunk, Carlos Cabañas, Maria Sperrhacke, Karina Reiss, Luise Florin
Wichtige Hinweise
Edited by Charlotte M. de Winde.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00430-020-00671-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Snježana Mikuličić and Anna Fritzen authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
This article is part of the Special Issue on Tetraspanins in Infection and Immunity.

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Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are causative agents of various tumours such as cervical cancer. HPV binding to the cell surface of keratinocytes leads to virus endocytosis at tetraspanin enriched microdomains. Complex interactions of the capsid proteins with host proteins as well as ADAM17-dependent ERK1/2 signal transduction enable the entry platform assembly of the oncogenic HPV type 16. Here, we studied the importance of tetraspanin CD9, also known as TSPAN29, in HPV16 infection of different epithelial cells. We found that both overexpression and loss of the tetraspanin decreased infection rates in cells with low endogenous CD9 levels, while reduction of CD9 expression in keratinocytes that exhibit high-CD9 protein amounts, led to an increase of infection. Therefore, we concluded that low-CD9 supports infection. Moreover, we found that changes in CD9 amounts affect the shedding of the ADAM17 substrate transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα) and the downstream phosphorylation of ERK. These effects correlate with those on infection rates suggesting that a specific CD9 optimum promotes ADAM17 activity, ERK signalling and virus infection. Together, our findings implicate that CD9 regulates HPV16 infection through the modulation of ADAM17 sheddase activity.

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