Molecular interactions at the surface of extracellular vesicles

Extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, microvesicles, apoptotic bodies, and large oncosomes have been shown to participate in a wide variety of biological processes and are currently under intense investigation in many different fields of biomedicine. One of the key features of extracellular vesicles is that they have relatively large surface compared to their volume. Some extracellular vesicle surface molecules are shared with those of the plasma membrane of the releasing cell, while other molecules are characteristic for extracellular vesicular surfaces. Besides proteins, lipids, glycans, and nucleic acids are also players of extracellular vesicle surface interactions. Being secreted and present in high number in biological samples, collectively extracellular vesicles represent a uniquely large interactive surface area which can establish contacts both with cells and with molecules in the extracellular microenvironment. Here, researchers from Semmelweis University provide a brief overview of known components of the extracellular vesicle surface interactome and highlight some already established roles of the extracellular vesicle surface interactions in different biological processes in health and disease.

Examples for EV surface interactions with the plasma membrane and components of the extracellular matrix


a One of the best characterized interactions between the plasma membrane and the surface of EVs is mediated by proteins that recognize externalized phosphatidyl serine (PS) on EVs. Direct interactions with PS include those with TIM4, stabilin-2, RAGE, or BAI-1. Indirect interactions include those between the PS-binding MFGE-8 and αvβ3 integrin as well as the PS-binder GAS-6 and the MER tyrosine kinase on the cell. b Endocytosis of fibronectin (FN) or C3b complement protein is followed by an association of these molecules with intraluminal vesicles within MVBs followed by secretion of exosomes with surface-associated FN or C3b. c Interaction of EVs with ECM is mediated by integrins or CD44. d FN forms a bridge between HSPGs present on both EV surface and plasma membrane, and mediates EV uptake by cells

Buzás EI, Tóth EÁ, Sódar BW, Szabó-Taylor KÉ. (2018) Molecular interactions at the surface of extracellular vesicles. Semin Immunopathol [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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