Exosome-like extracellular vesicles from MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells contain oncogenic miRNAs
AuthorHaug, Bjørn Helge; Hald, Øyvind; Utnes, Peter; Roth, Sarah A; Løkke, Cecilie; Flægstad, Trond; Einvik, Christer
Background: In recent years, evidence has accumulated indicating that both normal and cancer cells communicate via the release and delivery of macromolecules packed into extracellular membrane vesicles.
Materials and Methods: We isolated nano-sized extracellular vesicles from MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines using ultracentrifugation and exosome precipitation (Exoquick) protocols. These vesicles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nanoparticle tracking analysis and western blotting. Exosomal miRNA profiles were obtained using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) ready-to-use panel measuring a total of 742 miRNAs.
Results: In this study, we showed that MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines secrete populations of miRNAs inside small exosome-like vesicular particles. These particles were shown to be taken-up by recipient cells. By profiling the miRNA content, we demonstrated high expression of a group of established oncomirs in exosomes from two MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines. Despite the fact that other studies have demonstrated the ability of exosomal miRNAs both to repress mRNA targets and to stimulate Toll-like receptor-8 (TLR8) signaling in recipient cells, we did not observe these effects with exosomes from MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells. However, functional enrichment analysis reveals that mRNA targets of highly expressed exosomal miRNAs are associated with a range of cellular and molecular functions related to cell growth and cell death.
Conclusion: MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines secrete exosome-like particles containing oncogenic miRNAs. This work showed for the first time that neuroblastoma cells secrete exosome-like particles containing miRNAs with potential roles in cancer progression. These findings indicate a new way for MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells to interact with the tumor environment.