Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane-surrounded structures containing transmembrane proteins and enclosing cytosolic proteins and nucleic acids. They are released in the extracellular space by both normal and neoplastic cells and play an important role in cell-cell communication in numerous physiological processes and pathological conditions, through the transfer of their functional cargo to recipient cells. EVs are highly abundant in biological fluids, and even more represented in cancer patients’ biofluids, therefore many studies suggested that they can be instrumental in liquid biopsies as prognostic markers or for early detection of tumors. Moreover, being secreted by potentially all the cells, they can serve in oncology to represent the tumor heterogeneity, which is underestimated by the current diagnostic tools. Given their small size, EVs are difficult to isolate in a high-throughput way and, therefore, one of the main obstacles to their clinical application, is that the existing isolation methods are impractical. During these years, I worked at the development and optimization of a novel technique that allows purification of heterogeneous EVs from biological fluids in an efficient, fast and reproducible way. This technique, named Nickel-Based Isolation (NBI), is a biochemical assay that allows obtaining polydisperse EVs in a physiological pH solution, therefore, preserving their morphology, heterogeneity, and stability. We tested and optimized this assay in protein-enriched systems and comparing it to the techniques currently used to characterize and measure EVs, such as flow cytometry and Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing. We challenged the reproducibility of this method by isolating EVs from different biological fluids. Interestingly, the EVs purified with NBI result more intact and stable compared to the ones obtained with other methods, and can be studied in a clinical setting and used as an innovative tool for detection of molecules associated with diseases. We demonstrated the specificity of the procedure by using individual isolated vesicles in biochemical and molecular assay, optimized to characterize the biological content of EVs. We were able to detect picomolar concentration of PSMA on 105 EVs isolated from plasma of prostate cancer patients and BRAF-V600E transcript in just 103 EVs from the plasma of colon cancer patients, reaching unprecedented matching with tissue biopsy results. We also investigated the transcriptome of EVs isolated from glioblastoma cancer stem cells, in order to exploit the potential of EVs as diagnostic markers.
Exploiting extracellular vesicles for ultrasensitive detection of cancer biomarkers from liquid biopsies / Notarangelo, Michela. - (2019 Oct 23), pp. 1-136.
|Titolo:||Exploiting extracellular vesicles for ultrasensitive detection of cancer biomarkers from liquid biopsies|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2019-10-23|
|Corso di dottorato:||Biomolecular Sciences|
|Supervisori e coordinatori:||D'Agostino, Vito Giuseppe|
|Tesi in cotutela:||no|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/13 - Biologia Applicata|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.04.039|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||08.1 Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)|
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