Tumor-associated macrophages-derived exosomes promote the migration of gastric cancer cells by transfer of functional Apolipoprotein E

Zheng, Peiming, Qin Luo, Weiwei Wang, Junhua Li, Tingting Wang, Ping Wang, Lei Chen et al. "Tumor-associated macrophages-derived exosomes promote the migration of gastric cancer cells by transfer of functional Apolipoprotein E." Cell death & disease 9, no. 4 (2018): 434.

Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a major component of the tumor microenvironment and have been shown to contribute to tumor aggressiveness. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying the pro-metastatic effect of TAMs on gastric cancer are not clearly defined. Here, we show that TAMs are enriched in gastric cancer. TAMs are characterized by M2-polarized phenotype and promote migration of gastric cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we find that M2-derived exosomes determine the TAMs-mediated pro-migratory activity. Using mass spectrometry, we identify that apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is highly specific and effective protein in M2 macrophages-derived exosomes. Moreover, TAMs are uniquely immune cells population expressed ApoE in gastric cancer microenvironment. However, exosomes derived from M2 macrophages of Apoe−/− mice have no significant effect on the migration of gastric cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, M2 macrophage-derived exosomes mediate an intercellular transfer of ApoE-activating PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in recipient gastric cancer cells to remodel the cytoskeleton-supporting migration. Collectively, our findings signify that the exosome-mediated transfer of functional ApoE protein from TAMs to the tumor cells promotes the migration of gastric cancer cells.

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