Exosomes are membrane-bound extracellular vesicles involved in intercellular communication and tumor cell metastasis. In this study, flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF) was utilized to separate urinary exosomes by size, demonstrating a significant difference in exosome sizes between healthy controls and patients with prostate cancer (PCa). Exosome fractions of different sizes were collected for microscopic analysis during an FlFFF run and evaluated with exosome marker proteins using Western blot analysis. The results indicated that exosomes of different sizes originated from different types of cells. Collected exosome fractions were further examined using nanoflow ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (nUPLC-ESI-MS/MS) for lipidomic analysis. A total of 162 lipids (from 286 identified) were quantified using a selected reaction monitoring (SRM) method. The overall amount of lipids increased by 1.5- to 2-fold in patients with PCa and degree of increase was more significant in the smaller fractions (diameter <150 nm) than in the larger ones (diameter >150 nm) some classes of lipids. In addition, neutral lipids like diacylglycerol (DAG) and triacylglycerol (TAG) decreased in all exosomes without size dependency. Moreover, a dramatic increase in 22:6/22:6-phosphatidylglycerol (PG) was observed and significant decrease in (16:0,16:0)- and (16:1, 18:1)-DAG species (nearly 5-fold) and high abundant TAG species (>2.5-fold) was observed in patients with PCa. The results of this study indicate that FlFFF can be employed for the high-speed screening of urinary exosome sizes in patients with PCa and lipidomic analysis of the fractionated exosomes has potential for developing and distinguishing biomarkers of PCa.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry