Exosome secretion, including the DNA damage-induced p53-dependent secretory pathway, is severely compromised in TSAP6/Steap3-null mice

Cell Death Differ. 2008 Nov;15(11):1723-33. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2008.104. Epub 2008 Jul 11.


TSAP6 (tumor suppressor-activated pathway 6), also known as Steap3, is a direct p53 transcriptional target gene. It regulates protein secretion, for example translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP), which is implicated in tumor reversion. In keeping with the latter, we show herein that TSAP6 is a glycosylated protein present in the trans-Golgi network, endosomal-vesicular compartment and cytoplasmic membrane. To further investigate the physiological function of TSAP6, we have generated TSAP6-deficient mice. These mice exhibit microcytic anemia with abnormal reticulocyte maturation and deficient transferrin receptor downregulation, a process known to be dependent on exosomal secretion. Moreover, we provide direct evidence that exosome production is severely compromised in TSAP6-null cells. Finally, we show that the DNA damage-induced p53-dependent nonclassical exosomal secretory pathway is abrogated in TSAP6-null cells. Given the fact that exosomes are used as cell-free vaccines against cancer and that they could be involved in the biogenesis and spread of human immunodeficiency virus, it is important to understand their regulation. The results presented here provide the first genetic demonstration that exosome formation is a tightly controlled biological process dependent of TSAP6.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Anemia / pathology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Membrane Proteins / deficiency*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, Transferrin / metabolism
  • Reticulocytes / metabolism
  • Reticulocytes / pathology
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Spleen / radiation effects
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • TSAP6 protein, mouse