Several studies have demonstrated that melanoma-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) are involved in lymph node metastasis; however, the molecular mechanisms involved are not completely defined. Here, we found that EMILIN-1 is proteolyzed and secreted in small EVs (sEVs) as a novel mechanism to reduce its intracellular levels favoring metastasis in mouse melanoma lymph node metastatic cells. Interestingly, we observed that EMILIN-1 has intrinsic tumor and metastasis suppressive-like properties reducing effective migration, cell viability, primary tumor growth, and metastasis. Overall, our analysis suggests that the inactivation of EMILIN-1 by proteolysis and secretion in sEVs reduce its intrinsic tumor suppressive activities in melanoma favoring tumor progression and metastasis.
Keywords: EMILIN-1; melanoma; metastasis; small extracellular vesicles.