A new transgene mouse model using an extravesicular EGFP tag enables affinity isolation of cell-specific extracellular vesicles

Extracellular Vesicles

‌Nørgård, Mikkel Ø., Lasse B. Steffensen, Didde R. Hansen, Ernst-Martin Füchtbauer, Morten B. Engelund, Henrik Dimke, Ditte C. Andersen, and Per Svenningsen. 2022. “A New Transgene Mouse Model Using an Extravesicular EGFP Tag Enables Affinity Isolation of Cell-Specific Extracellular Vesicles.” Scientific Reports 12 (1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-04512-0.

The in vivo function of cell-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) is challenging to establish since cell-specific EVs are difficult to isolate and differentiate. We, therefore, created an EV reporter using truncated CD9 to display enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) on the EV surface. CD9truc-EGFP expression in cells did not affect EV size and concentration but enabled co-precipitation of EV markers TSG101 and ALIX from the cell-conditioned medium by anti-GFP immunoprecipitation. We then created a transgenic mouse where CD9truc-EGFP was inserted in the inverse orientation and double-floxed, ensuring irreversible Cre recombinase-dependent EV reporter expression. We crossed the EV reporter mice with mice expressing Cre ubiquitously (CMV-Cre), in cardiomyocytes (αMHC-MerCreMer) and renal tubular epithelial cells (Pax8-Cre), respectively. The CD9truc-EGFP positive mice showed Cre-dependent EGFP expression, and plasma CD9truc-EGFP EVs were immunoprecipitated only from CD9truc-EGFP positive CD9truc-EGFPxCMV-Cre and CD9truc-EGFPxαMHC-Cre mice, but not in CD9truc-EGFPxPax8-Cre and CD9truc-EGFP negative mice. In urine samples, CD9truc-EGFP EVs were detected by immunoprecipitation only in CD9truc-EGFP positive CD9truc-EGFPxCMV-Cre and CD9truc-EGFPxPax8-Cre mice, but not CD9truc-EGFPxαMHC-Cre and CD9truc-EGFP negative mice. In conclusion, our EV reporter mouse model enables Cre-dependent EV labeling, providing a new approach to studying cell-specific EVs in vivo and gaining a unique insight into their physiological and pathophysiological function.

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