Cell migration is central to evoking a potent immune response. Dendritic cell (DC) migration to lymph nodes is dependent on the interaction of C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2; encoded by the gene Clec1b), expressed by DCs, with podoplanin, expressed by lymph node stromal cells, although the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we show that CLEC-2-dependent DC migration is controlled by tetraspanin CD37, a membrane-organizing protein. We identified a specific interaction between CLEC-2 and CD37, and myeloid cells lacking CD37 (Cd37 -/-) expressed reduced surface CLEC-2. CLEC-2-expressing Cd37 -/- DCs showed impaired adhesion, migration velocity and displacement on lymph node stromal cells. Moreover, Cd37 -/- DCs failed to form actin protrusions in a 3D collagen matrix upon podoplanin-induced CLEC-2 stimulation, phenocopying CLEC-2-deficient DCs. Microcontact printing experiments revealed that CD37 is required for CLEC-2 recruitment in the membrane to its ligand podoplanin. Finally, Cd37 -/- DCs failed to inhibit actomyosin contractility in lymph node stromal cells, thus phenocopying CLEC-2-deficient DCs. This study demonstrates that tetraspanin CD37 controls CLEC-2 membrane organization and provides new molecular insights into the mechanisms underlying CLEC-2-dependent DC migration.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Keywords: CLEC-2; Dendritic cell; Membrane organization; Migration; Tetraspanin.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.