Elevated levels of extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been correlated with inflammatory diseases as well as progressive and metastatic cancer. By presenting tissue factor (TF) on their membrane surface, cellular microparticles (MPs) activate both the coagulation system and cell-signaling pathways such as the PAR/ERK pathway. We have shown before that malignant effusions are a rich source of tumor cell-derived EVs. Here, we used EVs from malignant effusions from three different patients after serial low-speed centrifugation steps as recommended by the ISTH (lsEV). Significant migration of human pancreatic carcinoma cells could be induced by lsEVs and was effectively inhibited by pre-incubation with tinzaparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin. Tinzaparin induced tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) release from tumor cells, and recombinant TFPI inhibited EV-induced tumor cell migration. EVs also induced ERK phosphorylation, whereas inhibitors of PAR2 and ERK suppressed EV-induced tumor cell migration. LsEVs have been characterized by high-resolution flow cytometry and, after elimination of smaller vesicles including exosomes, by further high-speed centrifugation (hsEV). The remaining population consisting primarily of MPs is indeed the main migration-inducing population with tenase activity. Compared to other LMWHs, tinzaparin is suggested to have high potency to induce TFPI release from epithelial cells. The migration-inhibitory effect of TFPI and the interruption of tumor cell migration by inhibitors of PAR2 and ERK suggest that lsEVs induce tumor cell migration by activating the PAR2 signaling pathway. Tinzaparin might inhibit this process at least partly by inducing the release of TFPI from tumor cells, which blocks PAR-activating TF complexes. The clinical relevance of the results is discussed.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)