Identifying a core protein signature of small extracellular vesicles derived from B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Scand J Immunol. 2024 Mar;99(3):e13341. doi: 10.1111/sji.13341. Epub 2023 Nov 27.


Acute paediatric leukaemia is diagnosed and monitored via bone marrow aspirate assessment of blasts as a measure of minimal residual disease. Liquid biopsies in the form of blood samples could greatly reduce the need for invasive bone marrow aspirations, but there are currently no blood markers that match the sensitivity of bone marrow diagnostics. Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent candidate biomarkers that may reflect the blast burden in bone marrow, and several studies have reported on the utility of EVs as biomarkers for adult haematological malignancies. Increased levels of EVs have been reported for several haematological malignancies, and we similarly report here elevated EV concentrations in plasma from paediatric BCP-ALL patients. Plasma EVs are very heterogeneous in terms of their cellular origin, thus identifying a cancer selective EV-marker is challenging. Here, we undertook a reductionistic approach to identify protein markers selectively associated to plasma EVs derived from BCP-ALL patients. The EV proteome of primary BCP-ALL cell-derived EVs were compared against EVs from healthy donor B cells and the BCP-ALL cell line REH, and further against EVs isolated from plasma of healthy paediatric donors and paediatric BCP-ALL patients. With this approach, we identified a signature of 6 proteins (CD317, CD38, IGF2BP1, PCNA, CSDE1, and GPR116) that were specifically identified in BCP-ALL derived EVs only and not in healthy control EVs, and that could be exploited as diagnostic biomarkers.

Keywords: BCP‐ALL; EVs; proteomics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Biomarkers
  • Child
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma* / diagnosis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins


  • Biomarkers
  • CSDE1 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins