ATP1A3 as a target for isolating neuron-specific extracellular vesicles from human brain and biofluids

Sci Adv. 2023 Sep 15;9(37):eadi3647. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adi3647. Epub 2023 Sep 15.


Neuron-derived extracellular vesicles (NDEVs) are potential biomarkers of neurological diseases although their reliable molecular target is not well established. Here, we demonstrate that ATPase Na+/K+ transporting subunit alpha 3 (ATP1A3) is abundantly expressed in extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from induced human neuron, brain, cerebrospinal fluid, and plasma in comparison with the presumed NDEV markers NCAM1 and L1CAM by using super-resolution microscopy and biochemical assessments. Proteomic analysis of immunoprecipitated ATP1A3+ brain-derived EVs shows higher enrichment of synaptic markers and cargo proteins relevant to Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared to NCAM1+ or LICAM+ EVs. Single particle analysis shows the elevated amyloid-β positivity in ATP1A3+ EVs from AD plasma, providing better diagnostic prediction of AD over other plasma biomarkers. Thus, ATP1A3 is a reliable target to isolate NDEV from biofluids for diagnostic research.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Brain
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Humans
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Neurons
  • Proteomics
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase


  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • ATP1A3 protein, human
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase