Characterization of and isolation methods for plant leaf nanovesicles and small extracellular vesicles

Mammalian small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) can deliver diverse molecules to target cells. However, they are difficult to obtain in large quantities and can activate host immune responses. Plant-derived vesicles may help to overcome these challenges. MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers optimized isolation methods for two types of plant vesicles, nanovesicles from disrupted leaf and sEVs from extracellular apoplastic space of Arabidopsis thaliana. Both preparations yielded intact vesicles of uniform size, and a mean membrane charge of approximately −25 mV. The researchers also demonstrated applicability of these preparative methods using Brassicaceae vegetables. Proteomic analysis of a subset of vesicles with a density of 1.1–1.19 g mL−1 sheds light on the likely cellular origin and complexity of the vesicles. Both leaf nanovesicles and sEVs were taken up by cancer cells, with sEVs showing an approximately three-fold higher efficiency compared to leaf nanovesicles. These results support the potential of plant-derived vesicles as vehicles for therapeutic delivery.

Liu Y et al. (2020) Characterization of and isolation methods for plant leaf nanovesicles and small extracellular vesicles. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine [online ahead of print]. [abstract]

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