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08 2022 Science signaling

CD9 mediates the uptake of extracellular vesicles from cancer-associated fibroblasts that promote pancreatic cancer cell aggressiveness.


Nigri J, Leca J, Tubiana SS, Finetti P, Guillaumond F, Martinez S, Lac S, Iovanna JL, Audebert S, Camoin L, Vasseur S, Bertucci F, Tomasini R


In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), signaling from stromal cells is implicated in metastatic progression. Tumor-stroma cross-talk is often mediated through extracellular vesicles (EVs). We previously reported that EVs derived from cancer-associated stromal fibroblasts (CAFs) that are abundant in annexin A6 (ANXA6 EVs) support tumor cell aggressiveness in PDAC. Here, we found that the cell surface glycoprotein and tetraspanin CD9 is a key component of CAF-derived ANXA6 EVs for mediating this cross-talk. CD9 was abundant on the surface of ANXA6 CAFs isolated from patient PDAC samples and from various mouse models of PDAC. CD9 colocalized with CAF markers in the tumor stroma, and CD9 abundance correlated with tumor stage. Blocking CD9 impaired the uptake of ANXA6 EVs into cultured PDAC cells. Signaling pathway arrays and further analyses revealed that the uptake of CD9ANXA6 EVs induced mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway activity, cell migration, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Blocking either CD9 or p38 MAPK signaling impaired CD9ANXA6 EV-induced cell migration and EMT in PDAC cells. Analysis of bioinformatic datasets indicated that CD9 abundance was an independent marker of poor prognosis in patients with PDAC. Our findings suggest that CD9-mediated stromal cell signaling promotes PDAC progression.

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