In this work we aimed to study potential correlation between the synthetic hyperproliferative vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cell and exosomal-dependent signalling.
We have previously shown mitochondrial bioenergetics are upregulated in synthetic hyperproliferative VSM cells.
Total exosomal release was increased in synthetic VSM cells vs wild type (WT) cells. Total protein and RNA within exosomes in synthetic VSM was significantly greater when compared with WT VSM cells. Addition of exosomes isolated from WT or synthetic hyperproliferative cells to VSM cell cultures resulted in 4.7%±2.3% and 23.4%±4.6% respectively, p<0.05. qRT-PCR of exosomal contents (synthetic VSM cell vs WT VSM cells) highlighted a significant reduction in pro-apoptotic genes (Bnip3, SOD1, SOD2), a reduction in significant tumour suppressor genes (Pmaip1, p53) and significant reduction in cell cycle regulator Cdkn2a. Likewise, RNA for PI3K, 4EBP1 and mTOR were all significantly greater in exosomes isolated from synthetic VSM cell vs WT VSM cells. miRNAome sequencing highlighted significant differences in exosome contents. Notably a 10-fold increase in pro-mitogenic/synthetic miR21 and 3.5-fold loss of anti-mitogenic/synthetic miR145, synthetic VSM cell vs WT VSM cells. The use of selective anti-miRs/miR mimetics in cell proliferation assays confirmed that both miR145/miR21 are regulators of VSM cell phenotype and proliferation.
Inhibition of mitochondrial bioenergetics or mitochondrial dynamics restored the exosomal yield, exosomal contents, RNA and miRNA similar to that measured in WT cells.
Our results implicates exosomes and their miRNA contents as crucial mediators of cellular proliferation in synthetic VSM cells