The membrane scaffold CD82 regulates cell adhesion by altering α4 integrin stability and molecular density. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) interactions with the bone marrow microenvironment are important for maintaining HSPC self-renewal and differentiation. In recent work, we identified the tetraspanin protein, CD82, as a regulator of HPSC adhesion and homing to the bone marrow, although the mechanism by which CD82 mediated adhesion was unclear. In the present study, we determine that CD82 expression alters cell-matrix adhesion, as well as integrin surface expression. By combining the superresolution microscopy imaging technique, direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, with protein clustering algorithms, we identify a critical role for CD82 in regulating the membrane organization of α4 integrin subunits. Our data demonstrate that CD82 overexpression increases the molecular density of α4 within membrane clusters, thereby increasing cellular adhesion. Furthermore, we find that the tight packing of α4 into membrane clusters depend on CD82 palmitoylation and the presence of α4 integrin ligands. In combination, these results provide unique quantifiable evidence of CD82's contribution to the spatial arrangement of integrins within the plasma membrane and suggest that regulation of integrin density by tetraspanins is a critical component of cell adhesion.© 2014 Termini et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

publication date

  • May 2014