Melanoma cells release extracellular vesicles (EVs) subpopulations which differ in size, phenotype and molecular content. Melanoma derived EVs play a role in the development and progression of cancer by delivering surface receptors and bioactive (proteins, lipids, nucleic acids) or signaling molecules to target cells.
Researchers at Jagiellonian University applied Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to compare infrared spectra of absorption for different subpopulations of EVs originating from normal human melanocytes, primary cutaneous melanoma (WM115) and metastatic cutaneous melanoma (WM266-4).
FTIR results showed that exosome and ectosome populations differ in content of protein and lipid components. The researchers obtained higher lipid to protein ratio for ectosomes in comparison with exosomes what confirms that exosomes are very densely packed with protein cargo. They identified the lowest value of saturated fatty acids/unsaturated fatty acids parameter in the metastatic WM266-4 cell line and ectosomes derived from WM266-4 cell line in comparison with normal melanocytes and the primary WM115 cell line. The researchers identified the alterations in the content of secondary structures of proteins present in EV subpopulations originating from melanocytes and melanoma cells in different malignancy.
Obtained results revealed differences in the molecular composition of melanoma derived EVs subtypes, including protein secondary structure, and showed progressive structural changes during cancer development.