Exosomes are extracellular vesicles which are released from healthy and tumor cells into blood circulation. Unique biomolecular cargos such as RNA and protein are loaded in these vesicles. These molecules may have biological functions such as signaling, cell communications and have the potential to be analyzed as biomarkers. University of Missouri researchers describe the analysis of exosomes in the serum of healthy subjects, intraductal papillary mucosal neoplasms and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma including the characterization of their RNA cargos by next generation sequencing (EXO-NGS).
Results indicate the presence of a wide variety of RNAs including mRNA, miRNA, lincRNA, tRNA and piRNA in these vesicles. Based on the differential mRNA expression observed upon EXO-NGS analysis, the researchers independently evaluated two protein coding genes, matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) and transcription factor T-Box 3 (TBX3) by qRT-PCR for selective expression in the serum samples. Results indicate a variable expression pattern of these genes across serum samples between different study groups. Further, qRT-PCR analysis with the same serum exosomes processed for EXO-NGS, they observed two long non-coding RNAs, malat-1 and CRNDE to be variably expressed. Overall, these observations emphasize the potential value of different exosome components in distinguishing between healthy, premalignant and malignant conditions related to the pancreas.
Pie charts depicting different RNAs in exosomes
The pie chart represents the mean percentage of each RNA biotype relative to mapped reads within exosomes obtained from healthy, IPMN and PDAC serum. mRNA (a), piRNA (b), tRNA (c), miRNA (d) and lincRNA (e).