Ionizing radiation affects protein composition of exosomes secreted in vitro from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Acta Biochim Pol. 2015;62(2):265-72. doi: 10.18388/abp.2015_970. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


Exosomes are membrane vesicles of endocytic origin that participate in inter-cellular communication. Environmental and physiological conditions affect composition of secreted exosomes, their abundance and potential influence on recipient cells. Here, we analyzed protein component of exosomes released in vitro from cells exposed to ionizing radiation (2Gy dose) and compared their content with composition of exosomes released from control not irradiated cells. Exosomes secreted from FaDu cells originating from human squamous head and neck cell carcinoma were analyzed using LC-MS/MS approach. We have found that exposure to ionizing radiation resulted in gross changes in exosomal cargo. There were 217 proteins identified in exosomes from control cells and 384 proteins identified in exosomes from irradiated cells, including 148 "common" proteins, 236 proteins detected specifically after irradiation and 69 proteins not detected after irradiation. Among proteins specifically overrepresented in exosomes from irradiated cells were those involved in transcription, translation, protein turnover, cell division and cell signaling. This indicated that exosomal cargo reflected radiation-induced changes in cellular processes like transient suppression of transcription and translation or stress-induced signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor / radiation effects
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Exosomes / pathology
  • Exosomes / radiation effects*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Radiation, Ionizing*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Tetraspanin 30 / metabolism


  • CD63 protein, human
  • Proteins
  • Tetraspanin 30