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Protein & Peptide Letters


ISSN (Print): 0929-8665
ISSN (Online): 1875-5305

Research Article

Proteomics-Based Characterization of the Effects of MMP14 on the Protein Content of Exosomes from Corneal Fibroblasts

Author(s): Kyu-Yeon Han*, Jin-Hong Chang and Dimitri T. Azar

Volume 27 , Issue 10 , 2020

Page: [979 - 988] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/0929866527666200408142827

Price: $65


Background: Exosomes secreted by corneal fibroblasts contain matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 14, which is known to influence pro-MMP2 accumulation on exosomes. Accordingly, we hypothesized that the enzymatic activity of MMP14 may alter the protein content of corneal fibroblast- secreted exosomes.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of MMP14 on the composition and biological activity of corneal fibroblast-derived exosomes.

Methods: Knock out of the catalytic domain (ΔExon4) of MMP14 in corneal fibroblasts was used to determine the effect of MMP14 expression on the characteristics of fibroblast-secreted exosomes. The amount of secreted proteins and their size distribution were measured using Nano Tracking Analysis. Proteins within exosomes from wild-type (WT) and ΔExon4-deficient fibroblasts were identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) proteomics analysis. The proteolytic effects of MMP14 were evaluated in vitro via MS identification of eliminated proteins. The biological functions of MMP14-carrying exosomes were investigated via fusion to endothelial cells and flow cytometric assays.

Results: Exosomes isolated from WT and ΔExon4-deficient fibroblasts exhibited similar size distributions and morphologies, although WT fibroblasts secreted a greater amount of exosomes. The protein content, however, was higher in ΔExon4-deficient fibroblast-derived exosomes than in WT fibroblast-derived exosomes. Proteomics analysis revealed that WT-derived exosomes included proteins that regulated cell migration, and ΔExon4 fibroblast-derived exosomes contained additional proteins that were cleaved by MMP14.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that MMP14 expression influences the protein composition of exosomes secreted by corneal fibroblasts, and through those biological components, MMP14 in corneal fibroblasts derived-exosomes may regulate corneal angiogenesis.

Keywords: Extracellular vesicles, exosomes, metalloproteinase 14, corneal fibroblasts, angiogenesis, biological activity.

Graphical Abstract
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