Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 5108525, 5 pages
Review Article

TM4SF5-Mediated Roles in the Development of Fibrotic Phenotypes

Department of Pharmacy, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tumor Microenvironment Global Core Research Center, Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Jung Weon Lee;

Received 20 February 2017; Accepted 13 March 2017; Published 26 March 2017

Academic Editor: Pilar Sandoval

Copyright © 2017 Jihye Ryu and Jung Weon Lee. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transmembrane 4 L six family member 5 (TM4SF5) can form tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TERMs) on the cell’s surface. TERMs contain protein-protein complexes comprised of tetraspanins, growth factor receptors, and integrins. These complexes regulate communication between extracellular and intracellular spaces to control diverse cellular functions. TM4SF5 influences the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), aberrant multilayer cellular growth, drug resistance, enhanced migration and invasion, circulation through the bloodstream, tumor-initiation property, metastasis, and muscle development in zebrafish. Here, current data on TM4SF5’s roles in the development of fibrotic phenotypes are reviewed. TM4SF5 is induced by transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) signaling via a collaboration with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation. TM4SF5, by itself or in concert with other receptors, transduces signals intracellularly. In hepatocytes, TM4SF5 expression regulates cell cycle progression, migration, and expression of extracellular matrix components. In CCl4-treated mice, TM4SF5, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and collagen I expression are observed together along the fibrotic septa regions of the liver. These fibrotic phenotypes are diminished by anti-TM4SF5 reagents, such as a specific small compound [TSAHC, 4′-(p-toluenesulfonylamido)-4-hydroxychalcone] or a chimeric antibody. This review discusses the antifibrotic strategies that target TM4SF5 and its associated protein networks that regulate the intracellular signaling necessary for fibrotic functions of hepatocytes.