EphA2 on urinary extracellular vesicles as a novel biomarker for bladder cancer diagnosis and its effect on the invasiveness of bladder cancer

Extracellular Vesicles

Background Urinary extracellular vesicles (uEVs) secreted from bladder cancer contain cancer-specific proteins that are potential diagnostic biomarkers. We identified and evaluated a uEV-based protein biomarker for bladder cancer diagnosis and analysed its functions. Methods Biomarker candidates, selected by shotgun proteomics, were validated using targeted proteomics of uEVs obtained from 49 patients with and 48 individuals without bladder cancer, including patients with non-malignant haematuria. We developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for quantifying the uEV protein biomarker without ultracentrifugation and evaluated urine samples from 36 patients with and 36 patients without bladder cancer. Results Thirteen membrane proteins were significantly upregulated in the uEVs from patients with bladder cancer in shotgun proteomics. Among them, eight proteins were validated by target proteomics, and Ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EphA2) was the only protein significantly upregulated in the uEVs of patients with bladder cancer, compared with that of patients with non-malignant haematuria. The EV-EphA2-CD9 ELISA demonstrated good diagnostic performance (sensitivity: 61.1%, specificity: 97.2%). We showed that EphA2 promotes proliferation, invasion and migration and EV-EphA2 promotes the invasion and migration of bladder cancer cells. Conclusions We established EV-EphA2-CD9 ELISA for uEV-EphA2 detection for the non-invasive early clinical diagnosis of bladder cancer.

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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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