Extracellular vesicles (EVs) regulate the tumor microenvironment by facilitating transport of biomolecules. Despite extensive investigation, heterogeneity in EV secretion among cancer cells and the mechanisms that support EV secretion are not well characterized. University of Houston researchers have developed an integrated method to identify individual cells with differences in EV secretion and performed linked single-cell RNA-sequencing on cloned single cells from the metastatic breast cancer cells. Differential gene expression analyses identified a four-gene signature of breast cancer EV secretion: HSP90AA1, HSPH1, EIF5, and DIAPH3. The researchers functionally validated this gene signature by testing it across cell lines with different metastatic potential in vitro. Analysis of the TCGA and METABRIC datasets showed that this signature is associated with poor survival, invasive breast cancer types, and poor CD8+ T cell infiltration in human tumors. They anticipate that their method for directly identifying the molecular determinants of EV secretion will have broad applications across cell types and diseases.
Identifying signatures of EV secretion in metastatic breast cancer through functional single-cell profiling
Fathi M, Martinez-Paniagua M, Rezvan A, Montalvo MJ, Mohanty V, Chen K, A Mani SA, Varadarajan N. (2023) Identifying signatures of EV secretion in metastatic breast cancer through functional single-cell profiling. iScience [Epub ahead of print]. [article]