Shelke GV, Yin Y, Jang SC, Lässer C, Wennmalm S, Hoffmann HJ, Li L, Gho YS, Nilsson JA, Lötvall J
J Extracell Vesicles 8 (1) 1650458 [2019-12-01; online 2019-09-20]
Extracellular vesicles such as exosomes convey biological messages between cells, either by surface-to-surface interaction or by shuttling of bioactive molecules to a recipient cell's cytoplasm. Here we show that exosomes released by mast cells harbour both active and latent transforming growth factor β-1 (TGFβ-1) on their surfaces. The latent form of TGFβ-1 is associated with the exosomes via heparinase-II and pH-sensitive elements. These vesicles traffic to the endocytic compartment of recipient human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) within 60 min of exposure. Further, the exosomes-associated TGFβ-1 is retained within the endosomal compartments at the time of signalling, which results in prolonged cellular signalling compared to free-TGFβ-1. These exosomes induce a migratory phenotype in primary MSCs involving SMAD-dependent pathways. Our results show that mast cell-derived exosomes are decorated with latent TGFβ-1 and are retained in recipient MSC endosomes, influencing recipient cell migratory phenotype. We conclude that exosomes can convey signalling within endosomes by delivering bioactive surface ligands to this intracellular compartment.