Impact of Extracellular Vesicle Isolation Methods on Downstream Mirna Analysis in Semen: A Comparative Study.
ABSTRACT: Seminal plasma (SP) contains a unique concentration of miRNA, mostly contained in small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) such as exosomes, some of which could be clinically useful for diagnosis and/or prognosis of urogenital diseases such as prostate cancer (PCa). We optimized several exosome-EV isolation technologies for their use in semen, evaluating EV purifying effectiveness and impact on the downstream analysis of miRNAs against results from the standard ultracentrifugation (UC) method to implement the use of SP sEV_miRNAs as noninvasive biomarkers for PCa. Our results evidenced that commercial kits designed to isolate exosomes/EVs from blood or urine are mostly applicable to SP, but showed quantitative and qualitative variability between them. ExoGAG 3500× g and the miRCURY Cell/Urine/CSF 1500× g methods resulted as equivalent alternative procedures to UC for isolating exosomes/sEVs from semen for nanoparticle characteristics and quality of RNA contained in vesicles. Additionally, the expression profile of the altered semen sEV-miRNAs in PCa varies depending on the EV isolation method applied. This is possibly due to different extraction techniques yielding different proportions of sEV subtypes. This is evidence that the exosome-EV isolation method has a significant impact on the analysis of the miRNAs contained within, with important consequences for their use as clinical biomarkers. Therefore, miRNA analysis results for EVs cannot be directly extrapolated between different EV isolation methods until clear markers for delineation between microvesicles and exosomes are established. However, EV extraction methodology affects combined models (semen exosome miRNA signatures plus blood Prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentration for PCa diagnosis) less; specifically our previously described (miR-142-3p + miR-142-5p + miR-223-3p + PSA) model functions as molecular marker from EVs from any of the three isolation methods, potentially improving the efficiency of PSA PCa diagnosis.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate targeted cellular interactions in normal and pathophysiological conditions and are increasingly recognised as potential biomarkers, therapeutic agents and drug delivery vehicles. Based on their size and biogenesis, EVs are classified as exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies. Due to overlapping size ranges and the lack of specific markers, these classes cannot yet be distinguished experimentally. Currently, it is a major challenge in the field to define robust and sensitive technological platforms being suitable to resolve EV heterogeneity, especially for small EVs (sEVs) with diameters below 200 nm, i.e. smaller microvesicles and exosomes. Most conventional flow cytometers are not suitable for the detection of particles being smaller than 300 nm, and the poor availability of defined reference materials hampers the validation of sEV analysis protocols. Following initial reports that imaging flow cytometry (IFCM) can be used for the characterisation of larger EVs, we aimed to investigate its usability for the characterisation of sEVs. This study set out to identify optimal sample preparation and instrument settings that would demonstrate the utility of this technology for the detection of single sEVs. By using CD63eGFP-labelled sEVs as a biological reference material, we were able to define and optimise IFCM acquisition and analysis parameters on an Amnis ImageStreamX MkII instrument for the detection of single sEVs. In addition, using antibody-labelling approaches, we show that IFCM facilitates robust detection of different EV and sEV subpopulations in isolated EVs, as well as unprocessed EV-containing samples. Our results indicate that fluorescently labelled sEVs as biological reference material are highly useful for the optimisation of fluorescence-based methods for sEV analysis. Finally, we propose that IFCM will help to significantly increase our ability to assess EV heterogeneity in a rigorous and reproducible manner, and facilitate the identification of specific subsets of sEVs as useful biomarkers in various diseases.
Project description:Although extracellular vesicle (EV) surface electrostatic properties (measured as zeta potential, ?-potential) have been reported by many investigators, the biophysical implications of charge and EV origin remains uncertain. Here, we compared the ?-potential of human blood EVs (BEVs) and semen EVs (SEVs) from 26 donors that were HIV-infected (HIV+, n = 13) or HIV uninfected (HIV-, n = 13). We found that, compared to BEVs that bear neutral surface charge, SEVs were significantly more negatively charged, even when BEVs and SEVs were from the same individual. Comparison of BEVs and SEVs from HIV- and HIV+ groups revealed subtle HIV-induced alteration in the ?-potential of EVs, with the effect being more significant in SEVs (??-potential = -8.82 mV, p-value = 0.0062) than BEVs (??-potential = -1.4 mV, p-value = 0.0462). These observations were validated by differences in the isoelectric point (IEP) of EVs, which was in the order of HIV + SEV ? HIV-SEV ? HIV + BEV ? HIV-BEV. Functionally, the rate and efficiency of SEV internalization by the human cervical epithelial cell line, primary peripheral blood lymphocytes, and primary blood-derived monocytes were significantly higher than those of BEVs. Mechanistically, removal of sialic acids from the surface of EVs using neuraminidase treatment significantly decreased SEV's surface charge, concomitant with a substantial reduction in SEV's internalization. The neuraminidase effect was independent of HIV infection and insignificant for BEVs. Finally, these results were corroborated by enrichment of glycoproteins in SEVs versus BEVs. Taken together, these findings uncover fundamental tissue-specific differences in surface electrostatic properties of EVs and highlight the critical role of surface charge in EV/target cell interactions.
Project description:Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) such as exosomes are nanocarriers of proteins, RNAs and DNAs. Isolation of pure sEV populations remains challenging, with reports of protein and lipoprotein contaminants in the isolates. Cellular uptake - a cornerstone for understanding exosome and sEV function - is frequently examined using lipophilic dyes such as PKH67 or CellMask to label the vesicles. In this study, we investigated whether contaminants can confound the outcomes from sEV and exosomes uptake experiments. sEVs were isolated from blood plasma of fasted or non-fasted rats as well as from serum-supplemented or serum-free conditioned cell culture medium using size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). Eluent fractions were characterized using nanoparticle tracking, protein and triglyceride assays and immunoassays. SEC fractions were labelled with different lipophilic dyes and cellular uptake was quantified using endothelial cells or primary cardiomyocytes. We report co-isolation of sEVs with apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins. Cellular dye transfer did not correspond to sEV content of the SEC fractions, but was severely affected by lipoprotein and protein content. Overnight fasting of rats decreased lipoprotein content and also decreased dye transfer, while late, sEV-poor/protein-rich fractions demonstrated even greater dye transfer. The potential for dye transfer to occur in the complete absence of sEVs was clearly shown by experiments using staining of sEV-depleted serum or pure protein sample. In conclusion, proteins and lipoproteins can make a substantial contribution to transfer of lipophilic dyes to recipient cells. Considering the likelihood of contamination of sEV and exosome isolates, lipophilic dye staining experiments should be carefully controlled, and conclusions interpreted with caution.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have raised high expectations as a novel class of diagnostics and therapeutics. However, variabilities in EV isolation methods and the unresolved structural complexity of these biological-nanoparticles (sub-100 nm) necessitate rigorous biophysical characterization of single EVs. Here, using atomic force microscopy (AFM) in conjunction with direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM), micro-fluidic resistive pore sizing (MRPS), and multi-angle light scattering (MALS) techniques, we compared the size, structure and unique surface properties of breast cancer cell-derived small EVs (sEV) obtained using four different isolation methods. AFM and dSTORM particle size distributions showed coherent unimodal and bimodal particle size populations isolated via centrifugation and immune-affinity methods respectively. More importantly, AFM imaging revealed striking differences in sEV nanoscale morphology, surface nano-roughness, and relative abundance of non-vesicles among different isolation methods. Precipitation-based isolation method exhibited the highest particle counts, yet nanoscale imaging revealed the additional presence of aggregates and polymeric residues. Together, our findings demonstrate the significance of orthogonal label-free surface characteristics of single sEVs, not discernable via conventional particle sizing and counts alone. Quantifying key nanoscale structural characteristics of sEVs, collectively termed 'EV-nano-metrics' enhances the understanding of the complexity and heterogeneity of sEV isolates, with broad implications for EV-analyte based research and clinical use.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are responsible for a multitude of physiological functions, including immunomodulation. A heterogenous mixture of small EV (sEV) subsets, including putative exosomes, is derived when commonly used "exosome" isolation techniques are employed. Subset diversity relates in part to their different intracellular origins, and can be associated with distinct functional properties. Recent progress in the EV field has enabled the categorization of such subsets based on their surface composition. For the first time, we combine such emerging subset-specific markers with advanced imaging flow cytometry (iFCM) to perform high-throughput, multiparametric, vesicle-by-vesicle characterization, and functional assessment of specific small EV subsets, and exosomes in particular. The approach allows researchers to address three important applications. First, it is known that different isolation techniques result in the divergent recovery of particular vesicle subsets. Taking three commonly used "exosome" isolation techniques as test cases (ultracentrifugation, size-exclusion chromatography, and polymer-based precipitation), the capacity for convenient and accurate isolate compositional analysis by iFCM is demonstrated. The approach was able to corroborate and to quantify the known skewing of subtype recovery among different isolation approaches. Second, exosomes are a particularly widely studied EV subset. Applying exosome-specific markers to samples collected from an optimal clinical transplantation model, we verify the capacity for iFCM to detect exosomes in circulation, to establish their tissue of origin, and to provide insights as to their functional immunological potential. Finally, we describe a technique for establishing whether the transfer of a molecule of interest to a target cell is exosomally mediated. In so doing, we highlight the approach's utility in assessing the functional <i>impact</i> of circulating exosomes and in identifying their targets. In conclusion, we set out a new methodological approach by which small extracellular vesicle subsets, exosomes in particular, can be conveniently and comprehensively investigated, thereby offering novel phenotypic and functional insights.
Project description:Angiogenesis is a key process that allows nutrient uptake and cellular trafficking and is coopted in cancer to enable tumor growth and metastasis. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been shown to promote angiogenesis; however, it is unclear what unique features EVs contribute to the process. Here, we studied the role of EVs derived from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in driving tumor angiogenesis. Small EVs (SEVs), in the size range of exosomes (50-150 nm), induced angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Proteomic analysis of HNSCC SEVs revealed the cell-to-cell signaling receptor ephrin type B receptor 2 (EPHB2) as a promising candidate cargo to promote angiogenesis. Analysis of patient data further identified EPHB2 overexpression in HNSCC tumors to be associated with poor patient prognosis and tumor angiogenesis, especially in the context of overexpression of the exosome secretion regulator cortactin. Functional experiments revealed that EPHB2 expression in SEVs regulated angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo and that EPHB2 carried by SEVs stimulates ephrin-B reverse signaling, inducing STAT3 phosphorylation. A STAT3 inhibitor greatly reduced SEV-induced angiogenesis. These data suggest a model in which EVs uniquely promote angiogenesis by transporting Eph transmembrane receptors to nonadjacent endothelial cells to induce ephrin reverse signaling.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, derived from bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have been demonstrated as key factors in the progression and drug resistance of multiple myeloma (MM). EV uptake involves a variety of mechanisms which largely depend on the vesicle origin and recipient cell type. The aim of the present study was to identify the mechanisms involved in the uptake of BMSC-derived small EVs (sEVs) by MM cells, and to evaluate the anti-MM effect of targeting this process. <b>Methods:</b> Human BMSC-derived sEVs were identified by transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and western blot. The effects of chemical inhibitors and shRNA-mediated knockdown of endocytosis-associated genes on sEV uptake and cell apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. The anti-MM effect of blocking sEV uptake was evaluated <i>in vitro</i> and in a xenograft MM mouse model. <b>Results:</b> sEVs derived from BMSC were taken up by MM cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and subsequently promoted MM cell cycling and reduced their chemosensitivity to bortezomib. Chemical endocytosis inhibitors targeting heparin sulphate proteoglycans, actin, tyrosine kinase, dynamin-2, sodium/proton exchangers, or phosphoinositide 3-kinases significantly reduced MM cell internalization of BMSC-derived sEVs. Moreover, shRNA-mediated knockdown of endocytosis-associated proteins, including caveolin-1, flotillin-1, clathrin heavy chain, and dynamin-2 in MM cells suppressed sEV uptake. Furthermore, an endocytosis inhibitor targeting dynamin-2 preferentially suppressed the uptake of sEV by primary MM cells <i>ex vivo</i> and enhanced the anti-MM effects of bortezomib <i>in vitro</i> and in a mouse model. <b>Conclusion:</b> Clathrin- and caveolin-dependent endocytosis and macropinocytosis are the predominant routes of sEV-mediated communication between BMSCs and MM cells, and inhibiting endocytosis attenuates sEV-induced reduction of chemosensitivity to bortezomib, and thus enhances its anti-MM properties.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released from nearly all mammalian cells and different EV populations have been described. Microvesicles represent large EVs (LEVs) released from the cellular surface, while exosomes are small EVs (SEVs) released from an intracellular compartment. As it is likely that different stimuli promote the release of distinct EV populations, we analyzed EVs from human lymphocytes considering the respective release stimuli (activation Vs. apoptosis induction). We could clearly separate two EV populations, namely SEVs (average diameter <200?nm) and LEVs (diameter range between 200 and 1000?nm). Morphology and size were analyzed by electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis. Apoptosis induction caused a massive release of LEVs, while activated T-cells released SEVs and LEVs in considerably lower amounts. The release of SEVs from apoptotic T-cells was comparable with LEV release from activated ones. LEVs contained signaling proteins and proteins of the actin-myosin cytoskeleton. SEVs carried cytoplasmic/endosomal proteins like the 70-kDa heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) or tumor susceptibility 101 (TSG101), microtubule-associated proteins, and ubiquitinated proteins. The protein expression profile of SEVs and LEVs changed substantially after the induction of apoptosis. After apoptosis induction, HSP70 and TSG101 (often used as exosome markers) were highly expressed within LEVs. Interestingly, in contrast to HSP70 and TSG101, gelsolin and eps15 homology domain-containing protein 3 (EHD3) turned out to be specific for SEVs irrespective of the stimulus causing the EV release. Finally, we detected several subunits of the proteasome (PSMB9, PSMB10) as well as the danger signal HMGB1 exclusively within apoptotic cell-released LEVs. Thus, we were able to identify new marker proteins that can be useful to discriminate between distinct LEV subpopulations. The mass spectrometry proteomics data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD009074.
Project description:Osteoblast-derived extracellular vesicles (EV) are a collection of secreted (sEVs) and matrix-bound nanoparticles that function as foci for mineral nucleation and accumulation. Due to the fact sEVs can be isolated directly from the culture medium of mineralizing osteoblasts, there is growing interest their application regenerative medicine. However, at present therapeutic advancements are hindered by a lack of understanding of their precise temporal contribution to matrix mineralization. This study advances current knowledge by temporally aligning sEV profile and protein content with mineralization status. sEVs were isolated from mineralizing primary osteoblasts over a period of 1, 2, and 3 weeks. Bimodal particle distributions were observed (weeks 1 and 3: 44 and 164 nm; week 2: 59 and 220 nm), indicating a heterogeneous population with dimensions characteristic of exosome- (44 and 59 nm) and microvesicle-like (164 and 220 nm) particles. Proteomic characterization by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) revealed a declining correlation in EV-localized proteins as mineralization advanced, with Pearson correlation-coefficients of 0.79 (week 1 vs. 2), 0.6 (2 vs. 3) and 0.46 (1 vs. 3), respectively. Principal component analysis (PCA) further highlighted a time-dependent divergence in protein content as mineralization advanced. The most significant variations were observed at week 3, with a significant (p < 0.05) decline in particle concentration, visual evidence of EV rupture and enhanced mineralization. A total of 116 vesicle-localized proteins were significantly upregulated at week 3 (56% non-specifically, 19% relative to week 1, 25% relative to week 2). Gene ontology enrichment analysis of these proteins highlighted overrepresentation of genes associated with matrix organization. Of note, increased presence of phospholipid-binding and calcium channeling annexin proteins (A2, A5, and A6) indicative of progressive variations in the nucleational capacity of vesicles, as well as interaction with the surrounding ECM. We demonstrate sEV-mediated mineralization is dynamic process with variations in vesicle morphology and protein content having a potential influence on developmental changes matrix organization. These findings have implications for the selection and application of EVs for regenerative applications.
Project description:Serum is an abundant and accessible source of circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs). Serum-EV (sEV) pro-angiogenic capability and mechanisms are herein analyzed using an in vitro assay which predicts sEV angiogenic potential in vivo. Effective sEVs (e-sEVs) also improved vascular remodeling and prevented muscle damage in a mouse model of acute hind limb ischemia. e-sEV angiogenic proteomic and transcriptomic analyses show a positive correlation with matrix-metalloproteinase activation and extracellular matrix organization, cytokine and chemokine signaling pathways, Insulin-like Growth Factor and platelet pathways, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor signaling. A discrete gene signature, which highlights differences in e-sEV and ineffective-EV biological activity, was identified using gene ontology (GO) functional analysis. An enrichment of genes associated with the Transforming Growth Factor beta 1 (TGF?1) signaling cascade is associated with e-sEV administration but not with ineffective-EVs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis on the inhibitor of DNA binding I (ID1) promoter region, and the knock-down of small mother against decapentaplegic (SMAD)1-5 proteins confirmed GO functional analyses. This study demonstrates sEV pro-angiogenic activity, validates a simple, sEV pro-angiogenic assay which predicts their biological activity in vivo, and identifies the TGF?1 cascade as a relevant mediator. We propose serum as a readily available source of EVs for therapeutic purposes.