Research Papers:

Procoagulant and immunogenic properties of melanoma exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic vesicles

Morad-Rémy Muhsin-Sharafaldine, Sarah C. Saunderson, Amy C. Dunn, James M. Faed, Torsten Kleffmann and Alexander D. McLellan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:56279-56294. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10783

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Morad-Rémy Muhsin-Sharafaldine1, Sarah C. Saunderson1, Amy C. Dunn1, James M. Faed2, Torsten Kleffmann3, Alexander D. McLellan1,4

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

2Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

3Centre for Protein Research, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Otago School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

Correspondence to:

Alexander D. McLellan, email: alex.mclellan@otago.ac.nz

Keywords: tumor vesicles, apoptotic vesicles, coagulation, tissue factor, cancer immunity

Received: April 06, 2016     Accepted: June 17, 2016     Published: July 22, 2016


Extracellular vesicles (EV) are lipid particles released from eukaryotic cells into the extracellular fluid. Depending on the cell type or mechanism of release, vesicles vary in form and function and exert distinct functions in coagulation and immunity. Tumor cells may constitutively shed vesicles known as exosomes or microvesicles (MV). Alternatively, apoptosis induces the release of apoptotic blebs or vesicles (ApoV) from the plasma membrane. EV have been implicated in thrombotic events (the second highest cause of death in cancer patients) and tumor vesicles contribute to the anti-cancer immune response. In this study, we utilized the well characterized B16 melanoma model to determine the molecular composition and procoagulant and immunogenic potential of exosomes, MV and ApoV. Distinct patterns of surface and cytoplasmic molecules (tetraspanins, integrins, heat shock proteins and histones) were expressed between the vesicle types. Moreover, in vitro coagulation assays revealed that membrane-derived vesicles, namely MV and ApoV, were more procoagulant than exosomes–with tissue factor and phosphatidylserine critical for procoagulant activity. Mice immunized with antigen-pulsed ApoV and challenged with B16 tumors were protected out to 60 days, while lower protection rates were afforded by MV and exosomes. Together the results demonstrate distinct phenotypic and functional differences between vesicle types, with important procoagulant and immunogenic functions emerging for membrane-derived MV and ApoV versus endosome-derived exosomes. This study highlights the potential of EV to contribute to the prothrombotic state, as well as to anti-cancer immunity.

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