ALCAM/CD166 Is Involved in the Binding and Uptake of Cancer-Derived Extracellular Vesicles

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) and ovarian cancer (OvC) patients frequently develop peritoneal metastasis, a condition associated with a very poor prognosis. In these cancers, tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) cause immunosuppression, facilitate the direct attachment and invasion of cancer cells through the mesothelium, induce the conversion of peritoneal mesothelial cells (PMCs) into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and transfer a more aggressive phenotype amongst cancer cells. Although the promoting role of EVs in CRC and OvC peritoneal metastasis is well established, the specific molecules that mediate the interactions between tumor-derived EVs and immune and non-immune target cells remain elusive. Here, we employed the SKOV-3 (ovarian adenocarcinoma) and Colo-320 (colorectal adenocarcinoma) human cell lines as model systems to study the interactions and uptake of EVs produced by ovarian carcinoma and colorectal carcinoma cells, respectively. We established that the adhesion molecule ALCAM/CD166 is involved in the interaction of cancer-derived EVs with recipient cancer cells (a process termed “EV binding” or “EV docking”) and in their subsequent uptake by these cells. The identification of ALCAM/CD166 as a molecule mediating the docking and uptake of CRC and OvC-derived EVs may be potentially exploited to block the peritoneal metastasis cascade promoted by EVs in CRC and OvC patients.