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      Exosomes: A Common Pathway for a Specialized Function

      , , ,

      The Journal of Biochemistry

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Exosomes are membrane vesicles that are released by cells upon fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membrane. Their molecular composition reflects their origin in endosomes as intraluminal vesicles. In addition to a common set of membrane and cytosolic molecules, exosomes harbor unique subsets of proteins linked to cell type-associated functions. Exosome secretion participates in the eradication of obsolete proteins but several findings, essentially in the immune system, indicate that exosomes constitute a potential mode of intercellular communication. Release of exosomes by tumor cells and their implication in the propagation of unconventional pathogens such as prions suggests their participation in pathological situations. These findings open up new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Electron microscopic evidence for externalization of the transferrin receptor in vesicular form in sheep reticulocytes

          Using ferritin-labeled protein A and colloidal gold-labeled anti-rabbit IgG, the fate of the sheep transferrin receptor has been followed microscopically during reticulocyte maturation in vitro. After a few minutes of incubation at 37 degrees C, the receptor is found on the cell surface or in simple vesicles of 100-200 nm, in which the receptor appears to line the limiting membrane of the vesicles. With time (60 min or longer), large multivesicular elements (MVEs) appear whose diameter may reach 1-1.5 micron. Inside these large MVEs are round bodies of approximately 50-nm diam that bear the receptor at their external surfaces. The limiting membrane of the large MVEs is relatively free from receptor. When the large MVEs fuse with the plasma membrane, their contents, the 50-nm bodies, are released into the medium. The 50-nm bodies appear to arise by budding from the limiting membrane of the intracellular vesicles. Removal of surface receptor with pronase does not prevent exocytosis of internalized receptor. It is proposed that the exocytosis of the approximately 50-nm bodies represents the mechanism by which the transferrin receptor is shed during reticulocyte maturation.
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            Malignant effusions and immunogenic tumour-derived exosomes.

            Exosomes derived from tumours are small vesicles released in vitro by tumour cell lines in culture supernatants. To assess the role of these exosomes in vivo, we examined malignant effusions for their presence. We also investigated whether these exosomes could induce production of tumour-specific T cells when pulsed with dendritic cells. We isolated exosomes by ultracentrifugation on sucrose and D(2)O gradients of 11 malignant effusions. We characterised exosomes with Western blot analyses, immunoelectron microscopy, and in-vitro stimulations of autologous T lymphocytes. Malignant effusions accumulate high numbers of membrane vesicles that have a mean diameter of 80 nm (SD 30). These vesicles have antigen-presenting molecules (MHC class-I heat-shock proteins), tetraspanins (CD81), and tumour antigens (Her2/Neu, Mart1, TRP, gp100). These criteria, including their morphological characteristics, indicate the similarities between these vesicles and exosomes. Exosomes from patients with melanoma deliver Mart1 tumour antigens to dendritic cells derived from monocytes (MD-DCs) for cross presentation to clones of cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific to Mart1. In seven of nine patients with cancer, lymphocytes specific to the tumour could be efficiently expanded from peripheral blood cells by pulsing autologous MD-DCs with autologous ascitis exosomes. In one patient tested, we successfully expanded a restricted T-cell repertoire, which could not be recovered carcinomatosis nodules. Exosomes derived from tumours accumulate in ascites from patients with cancer. Ascitis exosomes are a natural and new source of tumour-rejection antigens, opening up new avenues for immunisation against cancers.
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              Indirect activation of naïve CD4+ T cells by dendritic cell-derived exosomes.

              Dendritic cells (DCs) secrete vesicles of endosomal origin, called exosomes, that bear major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and T cell costimulatory molecules. Here, we found that injection of antigen- or peptide-bearing exosomes induced antigen-specific naïve CD4+ T cell activation in vivo. In vitro, exosomes did not induce antigen-dependent T cell stimulation unless mature CD8alpha- DCs were also present in the cultures. These mature DCs could be MHC class II-negative, but had to bear CD80 and CD86. Therefore, in addition to carrying antigen, exosomes promote the exchange of functional peptide-MHC complexes between DCs. Such a mechanism may increase the number of DCs bearing a particular peptide, thus amplifying the initiation of primary adaptive immune responses.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Journal of Biochemistry
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1756-2651
                0021-924X
                July 2006
                July 01 2006
                July 2006
                July 2006
                July 01 2006
                July 2006
                : 140
                : 1
                : 13-21
                Article
                10.1093/jb/mvj128
                16877764
                © 2006

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