Development of circulatory microRNAs as markers of organ injury and mediators of inter-organ signallingMorrison, Emma Elisabeth January 2018 (has links)
Plasma contains small, non-protein coding RNA species, microRNAs (miRNAs). Circulating miRNAs originate from tissues throughout the body and circulate in the blood bound to proteins or encapsulated in extracellular vesicles (EVs). The pattern of circulating miRNAs changes in different pathological states, leading to the hypothesis that they could act as biomarkers or mediators of inter-organ signalling. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with high morbidity worldwide. Recent work has highlighted a potential role for EV signalling in the delivery of functional exogenous miRNA into kidney cells, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of AKI. The studies described in this thesis investigate the effects of circulating miRNAs on renal proximal tubular (PT) cells. Utilising next generation sequencing technology, circulating miRNA profiles were demonstrated to change significantly following myocardial injury. These findings were translated from humans into a mouse model of myocardial injury. Investigation of EV cell signalling, using flow cytometry and nanoparticle tracking analysis, demonstrated that PT cell EV uptake was not affected by known physiological agonists. By contrast, EV release from PT cells was regulated by purinergic P2Y1 and dopamine D1 receptors. Toxic cisplatin injury of PT cells resulted in increased EV release and reduced EV uptake in a dose-dependent manner. Cisplatin toxicity in PT cells was unaffected by EVs from mice with myocardial injury, but toxicity was reduced by EVs from mice with drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Circulating EVs from mice with DILI transferred the liver specific miRNA, miR-122, into PT cells in both in vivo and in vitro models. The consequence of miR-122 transfer was modulation of downstream target genes including Foxo3 which has been implicated in cell injury by apoptosis. These findings therefore show that circulatory miRNA profiles change in different models of organ injury and suggest miRNAs can be transferred to PT cells in vivo and in vitro. The improved viability of injured PT cells following co-incubation with DILI EVs, and subsequent transcriptomic work, suggests this may be as a consequence of miRNA transfer. In conclusion, circulatory miRNAs may act as mediators of inter-organ signalling and could play a crucial role in the propagation of systemic illness.
abstract: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent a heterogeneous population of small vesicles, consisting of a phospholipidic bilayer surrounding a soluble interior cargo. These vesicles play an important role in cellular communication by virtue of their protein, RNA, and lipid content, which can be transferred among cells. Peripheral blood is a rich source of circulating EVs. An analysis of EVs in peripheral blood could provide access to unparalleled amounts of biomarkers of great diagnostic, prognostic as well as therapeutic value. In the current study, a plasma EV enrichment method based on pluronic co-polymer was first established and characterized. Plasma EVs from breast cancer patients were then enriched, profiled and compared to non-cancer controls. Proteins signatures that contributed to the prediction of cancer samples from non-cancer controls were created by a random-forest based cross-validation approach. We found that a large portion of these signatures were related to breast cancer aggression. To verify such findings, KIAA0100, one of the features identified, was chosen for in vitro molecular and cellular studies in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. We found that KIAA0100 regulates cancer cell aggression in MDA-MB-231 in an anchorage-independent manner and is particularly associated with anoikis resistance through its interaction with HSPA1A. Lastly, plasma EVs contain not only individual proteins, but also numerous molecular complexes. In order to measure millions of proteins, isoforms, and complexes simultaneously, Adaptive Dynamic Artificial Poly-ligand Targeting (ADAPT) platform was applied. ADAPT employs an enriched library of single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides to profile complex biological samples, thus achieving a deep coverage of system-wide, native biomolecules. Profiling of EVs from breast cancer patients was able to obtain a prediction AUC performance of 0.73 when compared biopsy-positive cancer patient to healthy controls and 0.64 compared to biopsy-negative controls and such performance was not associated with the physical breast condition indicated by BIRAD scores. Taken together, current research demonstrated the potential of profiling plasma EVs in searching for therapeutic targets as well as diagnostic signatures. / Dissertation/Thesis / Appendix-G / Appendix-B / Appendix-C / Appendix-D / Appendix-E / Appendix-F / Doctoral Dissertation Molecular and Cellular Biology 2018
Matthew D Therkelsen (6589034)
15 May 2019
<p>Flaviviruses are enveloped, positive-strand RNA viruses that are spread by mosquitoes and ticks and can cause serious disease in humans. Flavivirus virions undergo extensive structural changes during their life cycle, including during maturation and fusion. Flaviviruses are initially assembled at the endoplasmic reticulum in a non-infectious, immature state, and then traffic to the trans-Golgi network, where a pH drop triggers a structural rearrangement of glycoproteins prM and E on the virus surface from 60 trimers to 90 dimers. A host protease, furin, then cleaves prM which makes the transition irreversible. Upon exiting the host cell, pr disassociates from the virus and the infectious, mature virus is able to enter a new cell. <br></p><p><br></p> <p> </p> <p>In Chapter 1, an overview of flaviviruses is presented, including a brief history of their discovery and interaction with humans, followed by what is known about their life cycle and the maturation process. The structure of a mature flavivirus is then described, including the symmetrical arrangement of glycoproteins on the virion surface, the lipid membrane, and the nucleocapsid core, followed by an introduction of the structural proteins that assemble into the virion. The structure of the immature flavivirus is then described. The chapter concludes with a description of the dynamics and heterogeneity observed for flaviviruses.</p><p><br></p> <p> </p> <p>The conformational rearrangements that occur during flavivirus maturation remain unclear. The structures of immature and mature flaviviruses determined with cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) demonstrated that flaviviruses are icosahedral particles with 180 copies of glycoproteins on their surface. Icosahedral viruses typically have a quasi-equivalent arrangement of glycoproteins, but flaviviruses lack quasi-equivalence and instead the three subunits within an asymmetric unit occupy different chemical environments. Although the subunits are the same proteins, the unique environment of each subunit can be exploited for tracking subunits during conformational rearrangements. For example, the unique labeling of a subunit can be used to identify it in the immature and mature virion.</p><p><br></p> <p> </p> <p>In Chapter 2, the maturation process was studied by developing tools to differentially label protein subunits and trap potential intermediates of maturation. The tools included heavy-atom compounds and antibody Fabs, which were used to probe Kunjin virus (KUNV), an Australian subtype of West Nile virus (WNV). One heavy-atom compound, potassium tetranitroplatinate(II), was found to derivatize immature KUNV, likely at sites on both E and prM. Higher-resolution studies will be required to determine if the compound differentially labeled the three subunits. The other tool developed was the E16 Fab. E16 Fab, originally isolated from a mouse immunized with WNV E and found to bind to two out of three subunits on mature WNV, was used to differentially label subunits in immature KUNV. Based on poor epitope accessibility on immature KUNV, E16 Fab was hypothesized to trap an intermediate state of maturation. In the cryo-EM reconstruction of E16 Fab bound to immature KUNV it was found that the virion had localized distorted density and apparent non-uniform binding of the E16 Fab. Based on this result it was proposed that flaviviruses had imperfect icosahedral symmetry. <br></p><p><br></p> <p> </p> <p>The structural asymmetry of immature and mature flaviviruses was investigated in Chapter 3. Icosahedral symmetry has always been imposed during cryo-EM reconstructions of flaviviruses, as it led to stable convergence of orientations. When reconstructions of immature KUNV and ZIKV were performed without imposing symmetry, the reconstructions showed that the flaviviruses had an eccentric nucleocapsid core, which was positioned closer to the membrane at one pole. At the opposite pole, the glycoprotein and inner leaflet densities were weak and distorted. Furthermore, there were protrusions from the core that contacted the transmembrane helices of the glycoproteins. In the asymmetric reconstruction of mature KUNV, the core was positioned concentric with the glycoprotein shell, in contrast to the immature virion, indicating that maturation alters the interactions between the core and the glycoproteins. The asymmetric reconstructions suggested that there is variable contact between the core and glycoproteins during assembly, which may be due to membrane curvature restrictions in the budding process. </p> <p> </p> <p><br></p><p>In Chapter 4, extracellular vesicles (EVs) that were released during dengue virus (DENV) infection were characterized by mass spectrometry. EVs may play a significant role in flavivirus infection, as they have been shown to transport both viral proteins and infectious RNA. EVs likely represent alternative modes of virus transmission and aid in immune evasion. However, previous studies on EVs are controversial because EVs are potential contaminated during assays by co-purifying virions and other particulates. The identification of EV biomarkers would greatly reduce contamination because biomarkers would enable isolation of pure EVs by affinity purification. Therefore, a strategy was developed to isolate EVs and profile them with proteomics. The four proteins cystatin-A, filamin B, fibrinogen beta chain, and endothelin converting enzyme 1 were found to be statistically enriched in the DENV sample and represent potential EV biomarkers. </p> <p> </p>
The parasite secretome has been shown to play a key role in both pathogenicity and the regulation of host defence, allowing pathogens, such as helminths, to establish a chronic infection within the host. The recently discovered presence of extracellular vesicles within parasite-derived excretory-secretory products introduces a new mechanism of potential cross-species communication. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), such as exosomes, facilitate cellular communication through the transfer of small RNAs, lipids and proteins between cells and organisms across all three kingdoms of life. In addition to their roles in normal physiology, EVs also transport molecules from pathogens to hosts, presenting parasite antigens and transferring infectious agents. Here, I examine secreted vesicles from the murine gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus, and their potential role in the host-helminth interactions. Transmission electron microscopy reveals vesicle-like structures of 50- 100 nM in the ultracentrifuged secretory product, and potential evidence of multi-vesicular bodies in the worm intestine. This, coupled with information from the exoproteome, helped support the hypothesis that exosomes originate from the parasite intestinal tract. I have completed a series of studies looking at the fundamental properties of exosome-cell interactions, providing comparative studies between mammalian and H. polygyrus-derived exosomes. I have determined some of the key factors influencing exosome uptake, including time of incubation, cell type and exosome origin. Through microarray analysis of H. polygyrus exosome-treated small intestinal epithelial cells, we see significant gene expression changes, including those involved in the regulation of signalling and the immune response, such as DUSP1 (dual-specificity phosphatase) and IL1RL1 (the receptor for IL-33). The modest reduction of inflammatory cytokine responses by exosomes in small intestinal cell lines was amplified in immune cells, such as macrophages. Exosomes can significantly reduce expression of classical activation markers, as well as inflammatory cytokine production in the macrophage cell line RAW 264.7, and this is further supported by similar responses in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Owing to their suppressive nature, I demonstrate that immunization of mice with an exosome/alum conjugate generates significant protection from a subsequent H. polygyrus larval challenge, as seen through a reduction in egg counts and worm burden. I have investigated the role of the IL33 receptor (IL-33R); a key molecule associated with parasitic resistance that is suppressed by exosomes in type-2 associated immune responses. Uptake of H. polygyrus-derived exosomes by alternatively activated macrophages caused the suppression of type 2 cytokine/protein release and the reduction of key genes associated with this phenotype. In addition, there was also significant repression of both transcript and surface T1/ST2, a subunit of the IL-33R). Using a model of lung inflammation, in vivo studies demonstrate that, in both prophylactic and co-administration experiments, exosomes modulate the innate cellular response. This is represented by changes in the number of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophils and type-2 cytokine output. In this system, the expression of T1/ST2 on type 2 ILCs was also significantly reduced. I have extended the investigation on exosome-IL-33R responses by using T1/ST2 knockout mice. Despite generating strong antibody responses, vaccination against exosomes could not protect T1/ST2 knockout mice against a subsequent infection. This work suggests that exosomes secreted by nematodes could mediate the transfer and uptake of parasite products into host cells, establishing cross-species communication to suppress the host ‘danger’ or inflammatory response.
Comprehensive molecular characterization of extracellular vesicles : an approach to resolve their biogenetic and functional diversity / Caractérisation moléculaire comparative des vésicules extracellulaires : une approche pour résoudre leur diversité biogénétique et fonctionnelleKowal, Joanna 30 March 2016 (has links)
Les vésicules extracellulaires (EVs) participent à la communication intercellulaire. Dans la littérature actuelle, elles sont divisées en deux classes principales selon leur origine intracellulaire. En premier lieu, les exosomes sont formés à l'intérieur des endosomes multivésiculaires et sont libérés lors de la fusion de ces compartiments avec la membrane plasmique (MP). La taille des exosomes est contrôlée au cours de leur biogenèse et varie de 50 à 150 nm. Deuxièmement, les EVs sont formées par bourgeonnement direct et sécrétion à partir de la MP. Ces EVs sont plus hétérogènes et leur taille varie de 50 à 1000 nm. Malgré le fait que la nature hétérogène de EVs soit clairement documentée dans la littérature, la composition en protéines et les mécanismes exacts de la biogenèse des différentes EVs restent un sujet de débat en cours. Le but principal de ce travail était de redéfinir autant de sous-types différents d’EVs que possible, en trouvant des marqueurs protéiques spécifiques, et d'étudier les outils possibles pour affecter spécifiquement leur sécrétion. Dans ce projet, nous avons mis en place plusieurs outils utiles pour la caractérisation d’EVs. Tout d'abord, mes principaux efforts ont été concentrés sur la mise en place de plusieurs protocoles d'isolation et d'analyse d’EVs. Cela a conduit à la production d'une cartographie des protéines vésiculaires, qui si elle est appliquée pour caractériser les EVs, permettra de mieux les identifier par leur composition. Deuxièmement, j'ai étudié la façon dont la sécrétion de ces sous-populations d’EVs peut être modulée par l'inhibition de quelques protéines de la famille RAB et par certaines drogues. Enfin, grâce à une collaboration établie au sein de l'unité, j'ai eu l'occasion de participer à une comparaison des propriétés fonctionnelles entre les EVs et les virus sécrétés simultanément par les cellules infectées. Mes résultats confirment l'hypothèse selon laquelle l'origine intracellulaire des EVs sera reflétée dans leur composition. Les résultats présentés confirment la coexistence de plusieurs classes d'EVs et donnent un aperçu sur les moyens de les caractériser dans une préparation d’EVs donnée. En outre, nous fournissons un exemple de l'application de notre ensemble de protéines dans les études portant sur la biogenèse des EVs. / Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are participating in intercellular communication. Classically, in the current literature, they are divided into two main classes depending on their intracellular origin. Firstly, exosomes are formed within multivesicular endosomes and released upon fusion of these compartments with plasma membrane. The size of exosomes is controlled during their biogenesis and ranges from 50 to 150 nm. Secondly, EVs are formed by direct budding and pinching off from the plasma membrane. These EVs are more heterogeneous and their size varies from 50 to 1000 nm. Despite the fact that a heterogeneous nature of EVs is clearly documented in the literature, the exact protein content and biogenesis mechanisms of different EVs remain a matter of on-going debate. The principal goal of this work was to re-define as many different subtypes of EVs as possible, by finding specific protein markers, and investigate possible tools to affect specifically their secretion. In this project, we set up several tools useful for EV characterization. Firstly, my main efforts were concentrated on establishment of several protocols to isolate and analyse EVs. This led to the foundation of a vesicle protein cartography, which if applied to characterize EVs, will allow better understanding of the composition of the studied EVs. Secondly, I investigated how secretion of these EV subpopulations might be modulated by inhibition of a few RAB proteins and by some drugs. Finally, thanks to a collaboration established within the unit, I had the opportunity to participate in a comparison of the functional properties between EVs and viruses secreted simultaneously by infected cells. My results confirmed the hypothesis that the intracellular origin of EVs will be reflected in their composition. The results presented in this study point at the coexistence of several EV classes and provide insights on how to demonstrate their presence in a given EV preparation. In addition, we provide an example of the application of our set of proteins in studies addressing EV biogenesis.
Perfil de miRNAs intracelulares e liberados via vesículas extracelulares na diferenciação neural de células-tronco pluripotentes. / Intracellular and extracellular vesicles miRNAs profile during neural differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.Cruz, Lilian 05 April 2017 (has links)
As células-tronco processam e são sensíveis a múltiplos sinais dentro de seu microambiente, os quais podem exercer influências que regulam seu destino e sua função de forma espaço temporal. Neste contexto, células podem exercer seu papel biológico por transferir informação genética e alterar expressão gênica de alvos celulares através de vesículas extracelulares (VEs). MicroRNAs (miRNAs), uma classe de pequenos RNAs não codificantes, podem ser encontrados nestas vesículas e são considerados moléculas efetivas no controle do neurodesenvolvimento por regular genes chaves em tempo controlado. Pouco se sabe sobre como a diferenciação influencia o conteúdo de miRNAs liberados via VEs revelando o papel dos mesmos no microambiente de cada etapa do comprometimento neural. Assim, a proposta deste estudo foi analisar o perfil de miRNAs intracelulares e presentes em VEs envolvidos na diferenciação neural dopaminérgica de células-tronco pluripotentes e identificar os possíveis alvos regulados pelos mesmos como mecanismo de estabelecimento de um destino neural específico. / Stem cells sense and process multiple signals in their microenvironment, which can exert influences that regulate cell fate and function in a time spatial manner. In this context, the stem cells can exert their biological role transferring genetic information and altering the genetic expression of target cells through extracellular vesicles (EVs). MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non coding RNAs, can be found in those EVs and are considered effective molecules in the control of neurodevelopment and differentiation by regulating key genes in a time specific manner. However, little is known about how the cell differentiation influences the miRNAs content released through EVs, and how these molecules function in the microenvironment of each phase of neural commitment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyze the intracellular and EVs miRNAs profiles involved in the dopaminergic differentiation of pluripotent stem cells in attempt to identify possible targets regulated by miRNAs as a mechanism of specific neural fate decision.
Tropism of human pegivirus (formerly known as GB virus C) and host immunomodulation : insights into viral persistenceChivero, Ernest Tafara 01 May 2015 (has links)
Human Pegivirus (HPgV; originally called GB virus C) is an RNA virus within the Pegivirus genus of the Flaviviridae that commonly causes persistent infection. Worldwide, approximately 750 million people are infected with HPgV. No causal association between HPgV and disease has been identified; however, several studies found an association between persistent HPgV infection and prolonged survival of HIV-infected individuals that appears to be related to a reduction in host immune activation. HPgV replicates well in vivo (>10 million genome copies/ml plasma) but grows poorly in vitro and systems to study this virus are limited. Consequently, mechanisms of viral persistence and host immune modulation remain poorly characterized, and the primary permissive cell type(s) has not yet been identified. The overall goals of my thesis were to characterize HPgV tropism, effects of HPgV infection on host immune response and mechanisms of viral persistence. Previous studies found HPgV RNA in T and B lymphocytes and ex vivo infected lymphocytes produce viral particles. To further characterize HPgV tropism, we quantified HPgV RNA in highly purified CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, including naïve, central memory, and effector memory populations, and in B cells (CD19+), NK cells (CD56+) cells and monocytes (CD14+) obtained from persistently infected humans using real time RT-PCR. Single genome sequencing was performed on virus within individual cell types to estimate genetic diversity among cell populations. HPgV RNA was present in CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes (9 of 9 subjects), B lymphocytes (7 of 9), NK cells and monocytes (both 4 of 5). HPgV RNA levels were higher in naïve (CD45RA+) CD4+ cells than in central memory and effector memory cells (p<0.01). HPgV sequences were highly conserved between patients (0.117 ± 0.02 substitutions per site) and within subjects (0.006 ± 0.003 substitutions per site). The non-synonymous/synonymous substitution ratio was 0.07 suggesting low selective pressure. CFSE-labeled HPgV RNA-positive microvesicles (SEV) from serum delivered CFSE to uninfected monocytes, NK cells, T and B lymphocytes, and HPgV RNA was transferred to peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with evidence of subsequent viral replication. Thus, HPgV RNA-positive SEV may contribute to delivery of HPgV to PBMCs in vivo, explaining the apparent broad tropism of this persistent human RNA virus. Although HPgV infection reduces NK cell activation in HIV-infected individuals, the mechanism by which this occurs is not characterized. We studied HPgV effects on NK cell non-cytolytic function in HIV-infected people by measuring expression of IL-12 induced interferon gamma (IFNg) and cytolytic function by measuring K562 target-cell induced CD107a and granzyme B. IFNg expression was lower in HIV-HPgV co-infected subjects compared to HIV mono-infected subjects treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (p=0.02). In contrast, cytolytic NK cell functions were not affected by HPgV. Inhibition of IFNg was due to inhibition of tyrosine kinase (Tyk2) by HPgV envelope protein E2. HPgV positive human sera, extracellular vesicles containing E2 protein, recombinant E2 protein and synthetic E2 peptides containing a predicted Tyk2 interacting motif inhibited IL-12-mediated IFNg release by NK cells. Thus HPgV-E2 inhibits NK cell non-cytolytic functions. Inhibition of NK cell-induced proinflammatory/antiviral cytokines may contribute to both HPgV's ability to persist with high viral loads (>10 million genome copies/ml plasma) and reduce immune cell activation. Understanding mechanisms by which HPgV alters immune activation may contribute towards novel immunomodulatory therapies to treat HIV and inflammatory diseases.
Nanoplasmonic Sensing of Disease-associated Extracellular Vesicles - An Ultrasensitive Diagnosis and Prognosis ApproachJanuary 2020 (has links)
abstract: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membranous particles that are abundantly secreted in the circulation system by most cells and can be found in most biological fluids. Among different EV subtypes, exosomes are small particles (30 – 150 nm) that are generated through the double invagination of the lipid bilayer membrane of cell. Therefore, they mirror the cell membrane proteins and contain proteins, RNAs, and DNAs that can represent the phenotypic state of their cell of origin, hence considered promising biomarker candidates. Importantly, in most pathological conditions, such as cancer and infection, diseased cells secrete more EVs and the disease associated exosomes have shown great potential to serve as biomarkers for early diagnosis, disease staging, and treatment monitoring. However, using EVs as diagnostic or prognostic tools in the clinic is hindered by the lack of a rapid, sensitive, purification-free technique for their isolation and characterization. Developing standardized assays that can translate the emerging academic EV biomarker discoveries to clinically relevant procedures is a bottleneck that have slowed down advancements in medical research. Integrating widely known immunoassays with plasmonic sensors has shown the promise to detect minute amounts of antigen present in biological sample, based on changes of ambient optical refractive index, and achieve ultra-sensitivity. Plasmonic sensors take advantage of the enhanced interaction of electromagnetic radiations with electron clouds of plasmonic materials at the dielectric-metal interface in tunable wavelengths. / Dissertation/Thesis / Doctoral Dissertation Biomedical Engineering 2020
Development of DNA Aptamers Targeting Breast Cancer Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Biomarker DiscoverySusevski, Vanessa 18 September 2020 (has links)
Detection of cancer at the early stages greatly increases the chance for successful treatment and favourable prognosis for patients. However, a liquid-based biopsy has yet to be developed for most cancers. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are an attractive candidate for early cancer detection since their surface proteome mirrors the cell of origin. Thus, there is a need for the development of reliable probes that can detect cancer derived EVs. In this thesis, the VBS-1 aptamer was developed to selectively bind to triple-negative breast cancer cell line derived EVs. Initially, several EV isolation methods were compared and isolated EVs were validated and characterized. Aptamer clones were developed by Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment to EVs isolated by differential ultracentrifugation and their binding was validated by flow cytometry. The binding partner of the selected VBS-1 aptamer was identified by LC-MS/MS to be the transmembrane protein ATP1A1. The presence of an ATP1A1-positive EV population was validated by flow cytometry. The selected aptamer may find further application in biosensors for the detection of EVs as cancer biomarkers in biological fluids.
28 September 2020
Ovarian cancer (OVCA) is the most lethal gynecological cancer with a 5-year survival rate less than 50%. Despite new therapeutic strategies, such as targeted therapies and immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs), tumor recurrence and drug resistance remain key obstacles in achieving long term therapeutic success. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune dysregulation in chemoresistant ovarian cancer in order to harness the host’s immune system to improve cancer survival. Early diagnosis and residual disease are key determinants of favorable survival in OVCA; however, CA125 which is the conventional marker is not reliable and has modest diagnostic accuracy. There is therefore an urgent need to discover reliable biomarkers to optimize individualized treatment and diagnostic recommendations. Plasma gelsolin (pGSN; an actin binding protein) is the secreted isoform of the gelsolin (GSN) gene implicated in inflammatory disorders, colon cancer and prostate cancer. Increased expression of total GSN is associated with poor survival of patients with gynecological cancers. As to whether this is due to pGSN is yet to be investigated. Increased expression of pGSN is significantly associated with the down-regulation of immune cell markers; however, the exact mechanism has not been explored. If and how pGSN is involved in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of OVCA remains to be determined. In our current research, we have demonstrated that pGSN is involved in the regulation of immune cells, early diagnosis, tumor recurrence and chemoresistance in OVCA, using standard in vitro techniques and human clinical samples (North America, Asia and public datasets). We have shown that pGSN is highly expressed and secreted in chemoresistant OVCA cells than their chemosensitive counterparts. pGSN, secreted and transported via exosomes, upregulated HIF1α–mediated pGSN expression in chemoresistant OVCA cells in an autocrine manner as well as conferred cisplatin resistance in otherwise chemosensitive OVCA cells. pGSN also induced the OVCA expression of the antioxidant and tumor growth promoter, glutathione (GSH), by activating Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), a response that attenuated cisplatin (CDDP)-induced apoptosis. In human tumor tissues, increased pGSN mRNA and protein expressions were significantly associated with advanced tumor stage, suboptimal residual disease, tumor recurrence, chemoresistance and poor survival regardless of patients’ ethnic background and histologic subtypes. Increased Infiltration of CD8+ T cells was significantly associated with favorable patient survival; however, increased pGSN hindered the survival impact of these infiltrated CD8+ T cells. Further investigation revealed that pGSN induced CD8+ T cell death via caspase-3 activation, an action that resulted in decreased IFNγ levels. Increased epithelial pGSN expression was significantly associated with reduced survival benefits of infiltrated M1 macrophages, through caspase-3-dependent apoptosis as well as reduced production of TNFα and iNOS. The clinical application of circulatory pGSN as a biomarker for early detection and patients’ survival was investigated. Pre-operative circulating pGSN presented as a favorable and independent biomarker for early disease detection and residual disease prediction compared with CA125. The test accuracy of pGSN was significantly enhanced when combined with CA125 in multianalyte index assay. The findings suggest that pGSN is a potential target for chemoresistant OVCA and presents as a diagnostic marker for early stage disease and surgical outcomes, interventions that could maximize the therapeutic success of immunotherapies.
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