Exosomes are 30-150nM membrane-bound secreted vesicles that are readily isolated from biological fluids such as urine (UEs). Exosomes contain proteins, micro RNA (miRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) from their cells of origin. Although miRNA, protein and lncRNA have been isolated from serum as potential biomarkers for benign and malignant disease, it is unknown if lncRNAs in UEs from urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) patients can serve as biomarkers.
lncRNAs are > 200 nucleotide long transcripts that do not encode protein and play critical roles in tumor biology. As the number of recognized tumor-associated lncRNAs continues to increase, there is a parallel need to include lncRNAs into biomarker discovery and therapeutic target algorithms. The lncRNA HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) has been shown to facilitate tumor initiation and progression and is associated with poor prognosis in several cancers. The importance of HOTAIR in cancer biology has sparked interest in using HOTAIR as a biomarker and potential therapeutic target.
Researchers from the University of Rochester now show that HOTAIR and several tumor-associated lncRNAs are enriched in UEs from UBC patients with high-grade muscle-invasive disease (HGMI pT2-pT4). Knockdown of HOTAIR in UBC cell lines reduces in vitro migration and invasion. Importantly, loss of HOTAIR expression in UBC cell lines alters expression of epithelial-to-mesenchyme transition (EMT) genes including SNAI1, TWIST1, ZEB1, ZO1, MMP1 LAMB3, and LAMC2. Finally, they used RNA-sequencing to identify four additional lncRNAs enriched in UBC patient UEs. These data, suggest that UE-derived lncRNA may potentially serve as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
Electron micrograph of exosomes isolated from T24 and TCC-SUP UBC cell lines. White bar 100nm.