The proteomic profile of extracellular vesicles (EVs) has been of increasing interest, particularly in understanding cancer growth, drug resistance, and metastatic behavior. Emerging data suggests that cancer-derived EVs may carry an array of oncogenic cargo, including certain integrin proteins that may, in turn, promote cell detachment, migration, and selection of future metastatic sites. We previously reported a large comparison of secreted vesicle protein cargo across sixty diverse human cancer cell lines. Here, we analyze the distinct integrin profiles of these cancer EVs. We further demonstrate the enrichment of integrin receptors in breast cancer EVs compared to vesicles secreted from benign breast epithelial cells. Total EV integrin levels, including the quantity of integrins α2, αv, β4, and β5 correlate with breast tumor stage. In particular, integrin α2 also largely reflects progenitor cell expression, highlighting the utility of this integrin protein as a potential circulating biomarker of primary tumors. This study provides preliminary evidence of the value of vesicle-associated integrin proteins in cancer diagnosis and prediction of tumor stage. Differential expression of integrins across cancer cells, and selective packaging of integrins into EVs may contribute to further understanding the development and progression of tumor growth and metastasis across a variety of cancer types.
Exosomes, mass spectrometry, proteomics, biomarkers, cancer, extracellular vesicles, microvesicles, oncosomes
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