Deciphering the role of ectosomes in cancer development and progression: focus on the proteome
Microvesicles (MVs) secreted from cells have been found to mediate signal transduction between cells. In the tumor microenvironment, VEGF released from cancer cells plays a key role in promoting tumor angiogenesis. In this study, we characterized the inhibitory effect of MV-delivered miR-29a/c on angiogenesis and tumor growth in gastric cancer (GC). We found that the downregulation of miR-29a/c increases VEGF expression and release in GC cells, promoting the growth of vascular cells. By simulating the tumor microenvironment, the MV-delivered miR-29a/c significantly suppresses VEGF expression in GC cells, inhibiting vascular cell growth, metastasis, and tube formation. We also used a tumor implantation mouse model to show that secreted MVs containing overexpressed miR-29a/c significantly reduced the growth rate of the vasculature and tumors in vivo. To conclude, our results contribute to a novel anti-cancer strategy using miRNA-containing MVs to control tumor cell growth by blocking angiogenesis.