• Extracellular vesicles from young women's breast cancer patients drive increased invasion of non-malignant cells via the Focal Adhesion Kinase pathway: a proteomic approach.

      Jordan, Kimberly R; Hall, Jessica K; Schedin, Troy; Borakove, Michelle; Xian, Jenny J; Dzieciatkowska, Monika; Lyons, Traci R; Schedin, Pepper; Hansen, Kirk C; Borges, Virginia F (Springer Nature, 2020-11-23)
      Background: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane particles that contribute to cancer progression and metastases by transporting biologically significant proteins and nucleic acids. They may also serve as biomarkers of various disease states or important therapeutic targets. Breast cancer EVs have the potential to change the behavior of other cells in their microenvironment. However, the proteomic content of EVs isolated from young women’s breast cancer patients and the mechanisms underlying the influence of EVs on tumor cell behavior have not yet been reported. Methods: In our current translational studies, we compared the proteomic content of EVs isolated from invasive breast cancer cell lines and plasma samples from young women’s breast cancer (YWBC) patients and age-matched healthy donors using mass spectrometry. We analyzed the functionality of EVs in two dimensional tumor cell invasion assays and the gene expression changes in tumor cells after incubation with EVs. Results: We found that treatment with EVs from both invasive breast cancer cell lines and plasma of YWBC patients altered the invasive properties of non-invasive breast cancer cells. Proteomics identified differences between EVs from YWBC patients and healthy donors that correlated with their altered function. Further, we identified gene expression changes in non-invasive breast cancer cells after treatment with EVs that implicate the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) signaling pathway as a potential targetable pathway affected by breast cancer-derived EVs. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the proteome of EVs from breast cancer patients reflects their functionality in tumor motility assays and may help elucidate the role of EVs in breast cancer progression.