Extracellular vesicles play a central role in intercellular communication and contribute to cancer progression, including the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) including eribulin and paclitaxel continue to provide significant value in cancer therapy and their abilities to inhibit oncogenic signaling pathways, including eribulin’s capacity to reverse EMT are being revealed. Because microtubules are involved in the intracellular trafficking required for the formation and cargo loading of small extracellular vesicles (sEVs), we investigated whether MTA-mediated disruption of microtubule-dependent transport would impact sEV release and their cargo. Eribulin and paclitaxel caused an intracellular accumulation of CD63, a tetraspanin component of sEVs, in late/multivesicular endosomes of triple-negative breast cancer cells, consistent with the disruption of endosomal sorting and exosome cargo loading in these cells. While the concentrations of sEVs released from MTA-treated cells were not significantly altered, levels of CD63 and the CD63-associated cargos, ILK and β-integrin, were reduced in sEVs isolated from eribulin-treated HCC1937 cells as compared to vehicle or paclitaxel-treated cells. These results show that eribulin can reduce specific sEV cargos, including ILK, a major transducer of EMT in the tumor microenvironment, which may contribute to eribulin’s ability to reverse EMT to promote anticancer efficacy.
- Extracellular vesicles
- Microtubule targeting agents
- Triple-negative breast cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research