Exosomes in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Exosomes are small membranous vesicles that contain proteins, lipids, genetic material, and metabolites with abundant information from parental cells. Exosomes carry and deliver bioactive contents that can reprogram the functions of recipient cells and modulate the tumor microenvironment to induce pathological events through cell-to-cell communication and signal transduction. Tumor-derived exosomes (TDEs) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are involved in most aspects of cancer initiation, invasion, progression, immunoregulation, therapeutic applications, and treatment resistance. In addition, HNSCC-derived exosomes can be used to obtain information on diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers in circulating blood and saliva. Currently, the biology, mechanisms, and applications of TDEs in HNSCC are still unclear, and further research is required. In this review, we discuss various aspects of exosome biology, including exosomal components, exosomal biomarkers, and molecular mechanisms involved in immunoregulation, cancer metastasis, and therapy resistance. We also describe recent applications to update our understanding of exosomes in HNSCC.
Project description:Exosomes are nano-scale, membrane encapsulated vesicles that are released by cells into the extracellular space and function as intercellular signaling vectors through horizontal transfer of biologic molecules, including microRNA (miRNA). There is evidence that cancer-derived exosomes enable the tumor to manipulate its microenvironment, thus contributing to the capacity of the tumor for immune evasion, growth, invasion, and metastatic spread. The objective of this study was to characterize differential secretion of exosomal miRNA by head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and identify a set of candidate biomarkers that could be detected in non-invasive saliva samples. We isolated exosomes from conditioned media from 4 HNSCC cell lines and oral epithelial control cells and applied miRNA-sequencing to comprehensively characterize their miRNA cargo and compare transcript levels of each HNSCC cell line to that of oral epithelial control cells. A candidate set of miRNA differentially secreted by all 4 HNSCC cell lines was further evaluated in saliva collected from HNSCC patients and healthy controls. We observed extensive differences in exosomal miRNA content between HNSCC cells when compared to normal oral epithelial control cells, with a high degree of overlap in exosomal miRNA profiles between the 4 distinct HNSCC cell lines. Importantly, several of the exosomal miRNA secreted solely by cancer cells in culture were detected at substantially elevated levels in saliva from HNSCC patients relative to saliva from healthy controls. These findings provide important insight into tumor biology and yields a promising set of candidate HNSCC biomarkers for use with non-invasive saliva samples.
Project description:The suppressive nature of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment plays a major role in regulating anti-tumor immune responses. Our previous work demonstrated that a soluble factor from tumor cells is able to induce a suppressor phenotype (SP) in human CD8+ T cells typified by loss of CD27/CD28 expression and acquisition of a potent suppressor function. The present study hypothesized that the soluble mechanism that is inducing the SP in CD8+ T cells are tumor-derived exosomes (TDEs).Membrane vesicles and TDEs from multiple head and neck cancer cell line's conditioned growth media were isolated by ultracentrifugation and precipitation, respectively. Human purified CD3+CD8+ T cells were assessed for their induction of the T cell SP by flow cytometry identifying loss of CD27/CD28 expression and in vitro suppression assays. Furthermore, the T cell SP was characterized for the attenuation of IFN-γ production. To delineate exosomal proteins contributing to T cell SP, mass spectrometry was used to identify unique proteins that were present in TDEs. CRISPR/Cas9 knockout constructs were used to examine the role of one of these proteins, galectin-1. To assess the role of exosomal RNA, RNA purified from TDEs was nucleofected into CD8+ T cells followed by suppression analysis.Using fractionated conditioned growth media, factors >200 kDa induced CD8+ T cell SP, which was determined to be an exosome by mass spectrometry analysis. Multiple head and neck cancer-derived cell lines were found to secrete T cell SP-inducing exosomes. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that an immunoregulatory protein, galectin-1 (Gal-1), was expressed in those exosomes, but not in TDEs unable to induce T cell SP. Galectin-1 knockout cells were found to be less able to induce T cell SP. Furthermore, RNA purified from the T cell SP-inducing exosomes were found to partially induce the SP when transfected into normal CD8+ T cells.For the first-time, TDEs have been identified to induce a SP in CD8+ T cells and their mode of action may be synergistic effects from exosomal proteins and RNA. One protein in particular, galectin-1, appears to play a significant role in inducing T cell SP. Therefore, tumor-derived immunosuppressive exosomes are a potential therapeutic target to prevent T cell dysfunction and enhance anti-tumor immune responses.
Project description:Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly-aggressive heterogeneous malignancy, typically diagnosed at advanced stage. An important area of mesothelioma biology and progression is understanding intercellular communication and the contribution of the secretome. Exosomes are secreted extracellular vesicles shown to shuttle cellular cargo and direct intercellular communication in the tumour microenvironment, facilitate immunoregulation and metastasis. In this study, quantitative proteomics was used to investigate MM-derived exosomes from distinct human models and identify select cargo protein networks associated with angiogenesis, metastasis, and immunoregulation. Utilising bioinformatics pathway/network analyses, and correlation with previous studies on tumour exosomes, we defined a select mesothelioma exosomal signature (mEXOS, 570 proteins) enriched in tumour antigens and various cancer-specific signalling (HPGD/ENO1/OSMR) and secreted modulators (FN1/ITLN1/MAMDC2/PDGFD/GBP1). Notably, such circulating cargo offers unique insights into mesothelioma progression and tumour microenvironment reprogramming. Functionally, we demonstrate that oncogenic exosomes facilitate the migratory capacity of fibroblast/endothelial cells, supporting the systematic model of MM progression associated with vascular remodelling and angiogenesis. We provide biophysical and proteomic characterisation of exosomes, define a unique oncogenic signature (mEXOS), and demonstrate the regulatory capacity of exosomes in cell migration/tube formation assays. These findings contribute to understanding tumour-stromal crosstalk in the context of MM, and potential new diagnostic and therapeutic extracellular targets.
Project description:Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a palliative treatment option for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients which induces local inflammation and alters tumor cell morphology. We show that exosomes in plasma of HNSCC patients undergoing PDT reprogram tumor cells towards an epithelial phenotype. Nine HNSCC patients were treated with PDT and plasma was collected prior to and at three timepoints after therapy. Exosome levels of E-Cadherin, N-Cadherin and TGF-?1 were tested by flow cytometry. Exosomes were co-incubated with cancer cells, and changes in expression of EMT markers were evaluated as were proliferation, migration, chemotaxis and invasiveness of tumor cells. Exosomes harvested pre- and 24h after PDT were enriched in N-Cadherin and TGF-?1. They induced the mesenchymal phenotype and up-regulated Vimentin and transcripts for Snail, Twist, ?-SMA, Slug and ZEB1 in epithelial tumor cells. These exosomes also enhanced tumor proliferation, migration and invasion. In contrast, exosomes obtained on day 7 or 4-6 weeks after PDT carried E-cadherin, restored epithelial morphology and EpCAM expression in tumor cells, down-regulated expression of mesenchymal genes and inhibited proliferation, migration and invasion. The PDT-mediated conversion from the mesenchymal to epithelial tumor phenotype was mediated by exosomes, which also served as non-invasive biomarkers of this transition.
Project description:Radiation is a highly efficient therapy in squamous head and neck carcinoma (HNSCC) treatment. However, local recurrence and metastasis are common complications. Recent evidence shows that cancer-cell-derived exosomes modify tumour cell movement and metastasis. In this study, we link radiation-induced changes of exosomes to their ability to promote migration of recipient HNSCC cells. We demonstrate that exosomes isolated from irradiated donor cells boost the motility of the HNSCC cells BHY and FaDu. Molecular data identified enhanced AKT-signalling, manifested through increased phospho-mTOR, phospho-rpS6 and MMP2/9 protease activity, as underlying mechanism. AKT-inhibition blocked the pro-migratory action, suggesting AKT-signalling as key player in exosome-mediated migration. Proteomic analysis of exosomes isolated from irradiated and non-irradiated BHY donor cells identified 39 up- and 36 downregulated proteins. In line with the observed pro-migratory effect of exosomes isolated from irradiated cells protein function analysis assigned the deregulated exosomal proteins to cell motility and AKT-signalling. Together, our findings demonstrate that exosomes derived from irradiated HNSCC cells confer a migratory phenotype to recipient cancer cells. This is possibly due to radiation-regulated exosomal proteins that increase AKT-signalling. We conclude that exosomes may act as driver of HNSCC progression during radiotherapy and are therefore attractive targets to improve radiation therapy strategies.
Project description:Exosomes are secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) that carry micro RNAs and other factors to reprogram cancer cells and tissues affected by cancer. Exosomes are exchanged between cancer cells and other tissues, often to prepare a premetastatic niche, escape immune surveillance, or spread multidrug resistance. Only a few studies investigated the function of lipids in exosomes although their lipid composition is different from that of the secreting cells. Ceramide is one of the lipids critical for exosome formation, and it is also enriched in these EVs. New research suggests that lipids in the exosomal membrane may organize and transmit "mobile rafts" that turn exosomes into extracellular signalosomes spreading activation of cell signaling pathways in oncogenesis and metastasis. Ceramide may modulate the function of mobile rafts and their effect on these cell signaling pathways. The critical role of lipids and, in particular, ceramide for formation, secretion, and function of exosomes may lead to a radically new understanding of cancer biology and therapy.
Project description:Exosomes have emerged as a novel approach for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer after RNA content was discovered in exosomes in 2007. As important meditators of intercellular communication, exosomes have become a strong focus of investigation for researchers in the past decade, as witnessed through the exponential increase of research on exosomes. The capability of exosomes to transfer functionally active cargo highlights their importance as promising biomarkers and diagnostic molecules, as well as prospective drug delivery systems. The accessibility of exosomes in nearly all biofluids additionally alludes to its unprecedented ability in various types of cancers due to its extensive impact on tumor formation and progression. This review analyzes the role of exosomal long RNA species, which is comprised of mRNA, lncRNA, and circRNA, in tumor formation and progression, with an emphasis on their potential as future diagnostic biomarkers and treatment vectors in cancer biology. Their alignment with the development of exosomal databases is further examined in this review, in view of the accumulation of studies published on exosomes in the past decade.
Project description:Cancer cells release small extracellular vesicles, exosomes, that have been shown to contribute to various aspects of cancer development and progression. Differential analysis of exosomal proteomes from cancerous and non-tumorigenic breast cell lines can provide valuable information related to breast cancer progression and metastasis. Moreover, such a comparison can be explored to find potentially new protein biomarkers for early disease detection. In this study, exosomal proteomes of MDA-MB-231, a metastatic breast cancer cell line, and MCF-10A, a non-cancerous epithelial breast cell line, were identified by nano-liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. We also tested three exosomes isolation methods (ExoQuick, Ultracentrifugation (UC), and Ultrafiltration-Ultracentrifugation) and detergents (n-dodecyl ?-D-maltoside, Triton X-100, and Digitonin) for solubilization of exosomal proteins and enhanced detection by mass spectrometry. A total of 1,107 exosomal proteins were identified in both cell lines, 726 of which were unique to the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line. Among them, 87 proteins were predicted to be relevant to breast cancer and 16 proteins to cancer metastasis. Three exosomal membrane/surface proteins, glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1), glypican 1 (GPC-1), and disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 10 (ADAM10), were identified as potential breast cancer biomarkers and validated with Western blotting and high-resolution flow cytometry. We demonstrated that exosomes are a rich source of breast cancer-related proteins and surface biomarkers that may be used for disease diagnosis and prognosis.
Project description:MicroRNAs are regulatory molecules that can be packaged into exosomes to modulate cellular response of recipients. While the role of exosomes during viral infection is beginning to be appreciated, the involvement of exosomal miRNAs in immunoregulation in invertebrates has not been addressed. Here, we observed that exosomes released from WSSV-injected mud crabs could suppress viral replication by inducing apoptosis of hemocytes. Besides, miR-137 and miR-7847 were found to be less packaged in mud crab exosomes during viral infection, with both miR-137 and miR-7847 shown to negatively regulate apoptosis by targeting the apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). Our data also revealed that AIF translocated to the nucleus to induce DNA fragmentation, and could competitively bind to HSP70 to disintegrate the HSP70-Bax (Bcl-2-associated X protein) complex, thereby activating the mitochondria apoptosis pathway by freeing Bax. The present finding therefore provides a novel mechanism that underlies the crosstalk between exosomal miRNAs and apoptosis pathway in innate immune response in invertebrates.
Project description:Lead sulfide (PbS) quantum dots (QDs) have been applied in the biomedical area because they offer an excellent platform for theragnostic applications. In order to comprehensively evaluate the biocompatibility of PbS QDs in human cells, we analyzed the exosomes secreted from cells because exosomes are released during cellular stress to convey signals to other cells and serve as a reservoir of enriched biomarkers. PbS QDs were synthesized and coated with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) to allow the particles to disperse in water. Exosomes were isolated from HEK293 cells treated with PbS-MPA at concentrations of 0 µg/mL, 5 µg/mL, and 50 µg/mL, and the exosomal expression levels of miRNAs and proteins were analyzed. As a result, five miRNAs and two proteins were proposed as specific exosomal biomarkers for the exposure of HEK293 cells to PbS-MPA. Based on the pathway analysis, the molecular signature of the exosomes suggested that PbS-MPA QDs had carcinogenic activity. The comet assay and expression of molecular markers, such as p53, interleukin (IL)-8, and C-X-C motif chemokine 5, indicated that DNA damage occurred in HEK293 cells following PbS-MPA exposure, which supported the carcinogenic activity of the particles. In addition, there was obvious intensification of miRNA expression signals in the exosomes compared with that of the parent cells, which suggested that exosomal biomarkers could be detected more sensitively than those of whole cellular extracts.