IMP1/IGF2BP1 in human colorectal cancer extracellular vesicles

Extracellular Vesicles

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death. There is an urgent need for new methods of early CRC detection and monitoring to improve patient outcomes. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted, lipid-bilayer bound, nanoparticles that carry biological cargo throughout the body and in turn exhibit cancer-related biomarker potential. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that may provide a link between host cell gene expression and EV phenotypes. Insulin-like growth factor 2 RNA binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1/IMP1) is an RBP that is highly expressed in CRC with higher levels of expression correlating with poor prognosis. IMP1 binds and potently regulates tumor-associated transcripts that may impact CRC EV phenotypes. Our objective was to test whether IMP1 expression levels impact EV secretion and/or cargo. We used RNA sequencing, in vitro CRC cell lines, ex vivo colonoid models, and xenograft mice to test the hypothesis that IMP1 influences EV secretion and/or cargo in human CRC. Our data demonstrate that IMP1 modulates the RNA expression of transcripts associated with extracellular vesicle pathway regulation, but it has no effect on EV secretion levels in vitro or in vivo. Rather, IMP1 appears to affect EV regulation by directly entering EVs in a transformation-dependent manner. These findings suggest that IMP1 has the ability to shape EV cargo in human CRC, which could serve as a diagnostic/prognostic circulating tumor biomarker.

View full article

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.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.