By interacting directly with partner proteins and with one another, tetraspanins organize a network of interactions referred to as the tetraspanin web. ADAM10 (A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease 10), an essential membrane-anchored metalloprotease that cleaves off the ectodomain of a large variety of cell surface proteins including cytokines, adhesion molecules, the precursor of the β-amyloid peptide APP or Notch, has emerged as a major component of the tetraspanin web. Recent studies have shown that ADAM10 associates directly with all members (Tspan5, Tspan10, Tspan14, Tspan15, Tspan17 and Tspan33) of a subgroup of tetraspanins having eight cysteines in the large extracellular domain and referred to as TspanC8. All TspanC8 regulate ADAM10 exit from the endoplasmic reticulum, but differentially regulate its subsequent trafficking and its function, and have notably a different impact on Notch signaling. TspanC8 orthologs in invertebrates also regulate ADAM10 trafficking and Notch signaling. It may be possible to target TspanC8 tetraspanins to modulate in a tissue- or substrate-restricted manner ADAM10 function in pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or Alzheimer's disease.

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