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Communication of prostate cancer cells with bone cells via extracellular vesicle RNA; a potential mechanism of metastasis

Probert, C.; Dottorini, T.; Speakman, A.; Hunt, S.; Nafee, T.; Fazeli, A.; Wood, S.; Brown, J. E.; James, V.


C. Probert

A. Speakman

S. Hunt

T. Nafee

A. Fazeli

S. Wood

J. E. Brown


© 2018, The Author(s). The role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as vehicles for cell-to-cell communication between a tumour and its environment is a relatively new concept. The hypothesis that EVs may be critical in co-opting tissues by tumours to generate distant metastatic niches is particularly pertinent to prostate cancer (PCa), where metastatic-tropism to bone predominates over other tissue types. The potential role of EVs as a means of communication between PCa cells and cells of the bone stroma such as osteoblasts, is yet to be fully explored. In this study, we demonstrate that PCa cell EVs both enhance osteoblast viability and produce a significantly more supportive growth environment for PCa cells when grown in co-culture with EV-treated osteoblasts (p < 0.005). Characterisation of the RNA cargo of EVs produced by the bone-metastatic PCa cell line PC3, highlights the EV-RNA cargo is significantly enriched in genes relating to cell surface signalling, cell–cell interaction, and protein translation (p < 0.01). Using novel techniques to track RNA, we demonstrate the delivery of a set of PCa-RNAs to osteoblast via PCa-EVs and show the effect on osteoblast endogenous transcript abundance. Taken together, by using proof-of-concept studies we demonstrate for the first time the contribution of the RNA element of the PCa EV cargo, providing evidence to support PCa EV communication via RNA molecules as a potential novel route to mediate bone metastasis. We propose targeting PCa EVs could offer a potentially important preventative therapy for men at risk of metastatic PCa.


Probert, C., Dottorini, T., Speakman, A., Hunt, S., Nafee, T., Fazeli, A., …James, V. (2019). Communication of prostate cancer cells with bone cells via extracellular vesicle RNA; a potential mechanism of metastasis. Oncogene, 38(10), 1751-1763.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 25, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 23, 2018
Publication Date Mar 7, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 15, 2018
Journal Oncogene
Print ISSN 0950-9232
Electronic ISSN 1476-5594
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 10
Pages 1751-1763
Keywords Genetics; Cancer Research; Molecular Biology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 13 March 2018; Revised: 11 September 2018; Accepted: 25 September 2018; First Online: 23 October 2018; : ; : The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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