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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2010 Jun;9(6):1324-38. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M000063-MCP201. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Proteomics analysis of bladder cancer exosomes.

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Section of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Oncology and Radiology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Velindre Cancer Centre, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 2TL, United Kingdom.


Exosomes are nanometer-sized vesicles, secreted by various cell types, present in biological fluids that are particularly rich in membrane proteins. Ex vivo analysis of exosomes may provide biomarker discovery platforms and form non-invasive tools for disease diagnosis and monitoring. These vesicles have never before been studied in the context of bladder cancer, a major malignancy of the urological tract. We present the first proteomics analysis of bladder cancer cell exosomes. Using ultracentrifugation on a sucrose cushion, exosomes were highly purified from cultured HT1376 bladder cancer cells and verified as low in contaminants by Western blotting and flow cytometry of exosome-coated beads. Solubilization in a buffer containing SDS and DTT was essential for achieving proteomics analysis using an LC-MALDI-TOF/TOF MS approach. We report 353 high quality identifications with 72 proteins not previously identified by other human exosome proteomics studies. Overrepresentation analysis to compare this data set with previous exosome proteomics studies (using the ExoCarta database) revealed that the proteome was consistent with that of various exosomes with particular overlap with exosomes of carcinoma origin. Interrogating the Gene Ontology database highlighted a strong association of this proteome with carcinoma of bladder and other sites. The data also highlighted how homology among human leukocyte antigen haplotypes may confound MASCOT designation of major histocompatability complex Class I nomenclature, requiring data from PCR-based human leukocyte antigen haplotyping to clarify anomalous identifications. Validation of 18 MS protein identifications (including basigin, galectin-3, trophoblast glycoprotein (5T4), and others) was performed by a combination of Western blotting, flotation on linear sucrose gradients, and flow cytometry, confirming their exosomal expression. Some were confirmed positive on urinary exosomes from a bladder cancer patient. In summary, the exosome proteomics data set presented is of unrivaled quality. The data will aid in the development of urine exosome-based clinical tools for monitoring disease and will inform follow-up studies into varied aspects of exosome manufacture and function.

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