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Cancer Res. 2010 Feb 15;70(4):1668-78. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2470. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Cell surface tetraspanin Tspan8 contributes to molecular pathways of exosome-induced endothelial cell activation.

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Department of Tumor Cell Biology, University Hospital of Surgery, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

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  • Cancer Res.2010 Aug 15;70(16):6683.


Tumor-derived exosomes containing the tetraspanin Tspan8 can efficiently induce angiogenesis in tumors and tumor-free tissues. However, little information exists on exosome-endothelial cell (EC) interactions or the proangiogenic role of tetraspanins, which are a constitutive component of exosomes. In this study, we used a rat adenocarcinoma model (AS-Tspan8) to explore the effects of exosomal Tspan8 on angiogenesis. Tspan8 contributed to a selective recruitment of proteins and mRNA into exosomes, including CD106 and CD49d, which were implicated in exosome-EC binding and EC internalization. We found that EC internalized Tspan8-CD49d complex-containing exosomes. Exosome uptake induced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-independent regulation of several angiogenesis-related genes, including von Willebrand factor, Tspan8, chemokines CXCL5 and MIF, chemokine receptor CCR1, and, together with VEGF, VEGF receptor 2. EC uptake of Tspan8-CD49d complex-containing exosomes was accompanied by enhanced EC proliferation, migration, sprouting, and maturation of EC progenitors. Unraveling these new pathways of exosome-initiated EC regulation could provide new options for therapeutic interference with tumor-induced angiogenesis.

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