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Extracellular Vesicles

Yerneni, Saigopalakrishna S., Talia Solomon, Jason Smith, and Phil G. Campbell. 2022. “Radioiodination of Extravesicular Surface Constituents to Study the Biocorona, Cell Trafficking and Storage Stability of Extracellular Vesicles.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects 1866 (2): 130069.

Background Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are produced by all cell types and serve as biological packets delivering a wide variety of molecules for cell-to-cell communication. However, the biology of the EV extravesicular surface domain that we have termed EV ‘biocorona’ remains underexplored. Upon cell secretion, EVs possess an innate biocorona containing membrane integral and peripheral constituents that is modified by acquired constituents post secretion. This distinguishes EVs from synthetic nanoparticulate biomaterials that are limited to an adsorption-based, acquired biocorona. Methods The EV biocorona molecular constituents were radiolabeled with 125I to study biocorona constituents and its surface dynamics. As example toolset applications, 125I-EVs were utilized to study EV cell trafficking and the stability of the EV biocorona during storage. Results The biocorona of EVs consisted of proteins, lipids, DNA and RNA. The cellular uptake of 125I-EVs was temperature dependent and internalized 125I-EVs were rapidly recycled by cells. When 125I-EVs were stored in a purified state, they exhibited time and temperature dependent biocorona shedding and proteolytic degradation that was partially inhibited in the presence of serum. Conclusion The EV biocorona is complex and dynamic. Radiolabeling of the EV biocorona enables a unique platform methodology to study the biocorona and will facilitate unlocking EV's full clinical translation potential. General significance The EV biocorona affects EV mediated biological processes in health and disease. Acquiring knowledge of the EV biocorona composition, dynamics, stability and structure not only informs the diagnostic and therapeutic translation of EVs but also aids in designing biomimetic nanomaterials for drug delivery.

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Recent Publications

Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

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