Expression profiling of circulating microvesicles reveals intercellular transmission of oncogenic pathways

Gloria Milani, Tobia Lana, Silvia Bresolin, Sanja Aveic, Anna Pastò, Chiara Frasson, Geertruy Te Kronnie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Circulating microvesicles have been described as important players in cell-to-cell communication carrying biological information under normal or pathologic condition. Microvesicles released by cancer cells may incorporate diverse biomolecules (e.g., active lipids, proteins, and RNA), which can be delivered and internalized by recipient cells, potentially altering the gene expression of recipient cells and eventually impacting disease progression. Leukemia in vitro model systems were used to investigate microvesicles as vehicles of protein-coding messages. Several leukemic cells (K562, LAMA-87, TOM-1, REH, and SHI-1), each carrying a specific chromosomal translocation, were analyzed. In the leukemic cells, these chromosomal translocations are transcribed into oncogenic fusion transcripts and the transfer of these transcripts was monitored from leukemic cells to microvesicles for each of the cell lines. Microarray gene expression profiling was performed to compare transcriptomes of K562-derived microvesicles and parental K562 cells. The data show that oncogenic BCR-ABL1 transcripts and mRNAs related to basic functions of leukemic cells were included in microvesicles. Further analysis of microvesicles cargo revealed a remarkable enrichment of transcripts related to cell membrane activity, cell surface receptors, and extracellular communication when compared with parental K562 cells. Finally, coculturing of healthy mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) with K562-derived microvesicles displayed the transfer of the oncogenic message, and confirmed the increase of target cell proliferation as a function of microvesicle dosage. Implications: This study provides novel insight into tumorderived microvesicles as carriers of oncogenic protein-coding messages that can potentially jeopardize cell-directed therapy, and spread to other compartments of the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-695
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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