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.
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.
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