Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membrane-enclosed structures of varying size released from all cells and contain a variety of cargo including proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. They are postulated to play a pivotal role in cancer metastasis through delivery of oncogenic material to neighbouring and distant cells to promote development of a metastatic niche and tumour seeding. Researchers at the University of Sydney reviewed protein data in relevant literature to determine whether specific proteins known to be involved in metastasis can be reliably identified in lung cancer EV, whether these proteins are important in all or specific lung cancers, and whether results from in-vitro cell studies are supported by research examining EV in human biofluids. Their analysis suggests that specific proteins may be more important for individual lung cancers, but interpretation of the literature is currently limited by a relative lack of research investigating EV proteins in some cancers and in clinical studies using biofluids.
Exploring the role of extracellular vesicles and their protein cargo in lung cancer metastasis
Whittle K, Kao S, Clarke S, Grau GER, Hosseini-Beheshti E. (2022) Exploring the role of extracellular vesicles and their protein cargo in lung cancer metastasis: a review. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]