Homosalate boosts the release of tumour‐derived extracellular vesicles with protection against anchorage‐loss property

Extracellular Vesicles

Eukaryotic cells, including cancer cells, secrete highly heterogeneous populations of extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs could have different subcellular origin, composition and functional properties, but tools to distinguish between EV subtypes are scarce. Here, we tagged CD63- or CD9-positive EVs secreted by triple negative breast cancer cells with Nanoluciferase enzyme, to set-up a miniaturized method to quantify secretion of these two EV subtypes directly in the supernatant of cells. We performed a cell-based high-content screening to identify clinically-approved drugs able to affect EV secretion. One of the identified hits is Homosalate, an anti-inflammatory drug found in sunscreens which robustly increased EVs' release. Comparing EVs induced by Homosalate with those induced by Bafilomycin A1, we demonstrate that: (1) the two drugs act on EVs generated in distinct subcellular compartments, and (2) EVs released by Homosalate-, but not by Bafilomycin A1-treated cells enhance resistance to anchorage loss in another recipient epithelial tumour cell line. In conclusion, we identified a new drug modifying EV release and demonstrated that under influence of different drugs, triple negative breast cancer cells release EV subpopulations from different subcellular origins harbouring distinct functional properties.

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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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