Tumour cells release membrane micro(nano)fragments called tumour-derived microvesicles (TMV) that are believed to play an important role in cancer progression. TMV suppress/modify antitumour response of the host, but there is also some evidence for their direct interaction with cancer cells. In cancer patients TMV are present in body fluid and tumour microenvironment. The present study aimed at characterization of whole types/subpopulations, but not only exosomes, of TMV from newly established gastric cancer cell line (called GC1415) and to define their interactions with autologous cells.
TMV were isolated from cell cultures supernatants by centrifugation at 50,000×g and their phenotype was determined by flow cytometry. The size of TMV was analysed by dynamic light scattering and nanoparticle tracking analysis, while morphology by transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Interactions of TMV with cancer cells were visualized using fluorescence-activated cell sorter, confocal and atomic force microscopy, biological effects by xenografts in NOD SCID mice.
Isolated TMV showed expression of CD44H, CD44v6 (hyaluronian receptors), CCR6 (chemokine receptor) and HER-2/neu molecules, exhibited different shapes and sizes (range 60-900 nm, highest frequency of particles with size range of 80-120 nm). TMV attached to autologous cancer cells within 2 h and then were internalized by them at 24 h. CD44H, CD44v6 and CCR6 molecules may play a role in attachment of TMV to cancer cells, while HER-2 associated with CD24 be involved in promoting cancer cells growth. Pre-exposure of cancer cells to TMV resulted in enhancement of tumour growth and cancer cell-induced angiogenesis in NOD SCID mice model.
The physical characteristics of TMV determined by DLS, NTA, TEM and AFM. a Size range and b size frequency of TMV by DLS. c Representative size frequency by NTA. d TEM, e 2D AFM and f 3D images (5 × 5 µm area) of TMV deposited onto pyrolytic graphite. Sizing of objects present along the line marked in part (e): x-axis—size, y-axis—height
TMV should be considered in future as target of anticancer therapy.