TspanC8 tetraspanins regulate ADAM10/Kuzbanian trafficking and promote Notch activation in flies and mammals

J Cell Biol. 2012 Oct 29;199(3):481-96. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201201133. Epub 2012 Oct 22.


The metalloprotease ADAM10/Kuzbanian catalyzes the ligand-dependent ectodomain shedding of Notch receptors and activates Notch. Here, we show that the human tetraspanins of the evolutionary conserved TspanC8 subfamily (Tspan5, Tspan10, Tspan14, Tspan15, Tspan17, and Tspan33) directly interact with ADAM10, regulate its exit from the endoplasmic reticulum, and that four of them regulate ADAM10 surface expression levels. In an independent RNAi screen in Drosophila, two TspanC8 genes were identified as Notch regulators. Functional analysis of the three Drosophila TspanC8 genes (Tsp3A, Tsp86D, and Tsp26D) indicated that these genes act redundantly to promote Notch signaling. During oogenesis, TspanC8 genes were up-regulated in border cells and regulated Kuzbanian distribution, Notch activity, and cell migration. Furthermore, the human TspanC8 tetraspanins Tspan5 and Tspan14 positively regulated ligand-induced ADAM10-dependent Notch1 signaling. We conclude that TspanC8 tetraspanins have a conserved function in the regulation of ADAM10 trafficking and activity, thereby positively regulating Notch receptor activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADAM Proteins / genetics
  • ADAM Proteins / metabolism*
  • ADAM10 Protein
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / genetics
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptor, Notch1 / genetics
  • Receptor, Notch1 / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tetraspanins / genetics
  • Tetraspanins / metabolism*
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • Membrane Proteins
  • NOTCH1 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Notch1
  • Tetraspanins
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • ADAM Proteins
  • ADAM10 Protein
  • ADAM10 protein, human