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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Molecular Cancer Research

Volume 14, Issue 11, November 2016, Pages 1136-1146.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0058. Copyright © American Association for Cancer Research


The αvβ3 integrin is known to be highly upregulated during cancer progression and promotes a migratory and metastatic phenotype in many types of tumors. We hypothesized that the αvβ3 integrin is transferred through exosomes and, upon transfer, has the ability to support functional aberrations in recipient cells. Here, for the first time, it is demonstrated that αvβ3 is present in exosomes released from metastatic PC3 and CWR22Pc prostate cancer cells. Exosomal β3 is transferred as a protein from donor to nontumorigenic and tumorigenic cells as β3 protein or mRNA levels remain unaffected upon transcription or translation inhibition in recipient cells. Furthermore, it is shown that upon exosome uptake, de novo expression of an αvβ3 increases adhesion and migration of recipient cells on an αvβ3 ligand, vitronectin. To evaluate the relevance of these findings, exosomes were purified from the blood of TRAMP mice carrying tumors where the expression of αvβ3 is found higher than in exosomes from wild-type mice. In addition, it is demonstrated that αvβ3 is coexpressed with synaptophysin, a biomarker for aggressive neuroendocrine prostate cancer.

IMPLICATIONS: Overall this study reveals that the αvβ3 integrin is transferred from tumorigenic to nontumorigenic cells via exosomes, and its de novo expression in recipient cells promotes cell migration on its ligand. The increased expression of αvβ3 in exosomes from mice bearing tumors points to its clinical relevance and potential use as a biomarker. Mol Cancer Res; 14(11); 1136-46. ©2016 AACR.

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