Brás IC, Khani MH, Riedel D, Parfentev I, Gerhardt E, van Riesen C, Urlaub H, Gollisch T, Outeiro TF
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important mediators in intercellular communication. However, understanding the biological origin and functional effects of EVs subtypes has been challenging due to the moderate differences in their physical properties and absence of reliable markers. Here, we characterize the proteomes of ectosomes and exosomes using an improved differential ultracentrifugation protocol and quantitative proteomics. Cytoskeleton and glycolytic proteins are distinctively present in ectosomes, while endosomal sorting complexes proteins and tetraspanins are enriched in exosomes. Furthermore, annexin-A2 was identified as a specific marker for ectosomes derived from cell media and human cerebrospinal fluid. Expression of EGFP as a cytosolic reporter leads to its incorporation in EVs and enables their imaging with higher resolution. Importantly, ectosomes and exosomes internalization in neuronal cells results in the modulation of neuronal spontaneous activity. Our findings suggest that EVs cargoes reflect core intracellular processes, and their functional properties might regulate basic biological and pathological processes.