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Int J Oncol. 2015 Jul;47(1):244-52. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.3001. Epub 2015 May 11.

Acquisition of new tumor cell properties by MSC-derived exosomes.

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Biochemistry and Tumor Biology Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Department of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Institute of Pharmacology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Interaction between multi-functional mesenchymal stroma/stem cells (MSC) and human tumor cells involves the exchange of biological material via extracellular vesicles including exosomes. Protein analysis of MSC-derived exosomes demonstrated the presence of MMP-2 and MSC-specific markers including CD90 and ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73). Incubation of tumor cells with these membranous particles revealed a rapid uptake of MSC-released microvesicles whereby breast cancer cells incorporated ~19% and SCCOHT-1 cells representing a rare type of small cell ovarian cancer assimilated ~28% of available exosomes within 24 h. This interaction was accompanied by functional alterations of tumor cell properties during integration of exosomal content from MSC. Indeed, exosome-associated MMP-2 exhibited functional enzyme activity and MCF-7 breast cancer cells with undetectable MMP-2 protein acquired expression of this enzyme and corresponding gelatinase functionality after stimulation with MSC-derived exosomes. Similar effects were observed in SCCOHT-1 cells during culture in the presence of MSC-derived exosomes which enabled new metabolic activities in this tumor cell type. Together, these findings demonstrated that the internalization of MSC-derived exosomes was associated with the acquisition of new tumor cell properties by altering cellular functionalities and providing the capability to re-organize the tumor microenvironment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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