Heterogeneous Subcellular Origin of Exosome-Mimetic Nanovesicles Engineered from Cells

ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2020 Nov 9;6(11):6063-6068. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c01157. Epub 2020 Oct 29.


Cell-engineered nanovesicles (CNVs) are considered as an alternative to exosomes, because they can be produced efficiently on a large scale and have been successfully reported in several applied research studies. However, CNVs may originate from various organelles, i.e., some of them may cause adverse effects on recipient cells, and their origin has not yet been identified. In this study, we air-sprayed human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells into lipid-bilayer CNVs. To identify the subcellular origin of the CNVs, we prepared nine different HEK293 cell lines by transfection with organelle-specific fluorescent protein plasmids that target the plasma membrane, peroxisome, lysosome, early endosome, late endosome, nucleus, mitochondrion, Golgi apparatus, and endoplasmic reticulum. The origin of CNVs were identified by measuring fluorescence expressions for organelle-specific markers using fluorescence nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). In the results, we found that CNVs derived from the plasma membrane constituted the largest portion, but CNVs derived from the other organelles comprised a non-negligible portion as well. This information will be useful to guide advanced research on outer membrane vesicles and exosome-mimetic nanovesicles engineered from cells.

Keywords: exosome-mimetics; extracellular vesicles; heterogeneity; organelles; outer membrane vesicles.