Surfaceome of exosomes secreted from the colorectal cancer cell line SW480: Peripheral and integral membrane proteins analyzed by proteolysis and TX114 Academic Article uri icon


  • Exosomes are important bidirectional cell-cell communicators in normal and pathological physiology. Although exosomal surface membrane proteins (surfaceome) enable target cell recognition and are an attractive source of disease marker, they are poorly understood. Here, a comprehensive surfaceome analysis of exosomes secreted by the colorectal cancer cell line SW480 is described. Sodium carbonate extraction/Triton X-114 phase separation and mild proteolysis (proteinase K, PK) of intact exosomes is used in combination with label-free quantitative mass spectrometry to identify 1025 exosomal proteins of which 208 are predicted to be integral membrane proteins (IMPs) according to TOPCONS and GRAVY scores. Interrogation of UniProt database-annotated proteins reveals 124 predicted peripherally-associated membrane proteins (PMPs). Surprisingly, 108 RNA-binding proteins (RBPs)/RNA nucleoproteins (RNPs) are found in the carbonate/Triton X-114 insoluble fraction. Mild PK treatment of SW480-GFP labeled exosomes reveal 58 proteolytically cleaved IMPs and 14 exoplasmic PMPs (e.g., CLU/GANAB/LGALS3BP). Interestingly, 18 RBPs/RNPs (e.g., EIF3L/RPL6) appear bound to the outer exosome surface since they are sensitive to PK proteolysis. The finding that outer surface-localized miRNA Let-7a-5p is RNase A-resistant, but degraded by a combination of RNase A/PK treatment suggests exosomal miRNA species also reside on the outer surface of exosomes bound to RBPs/RNPs.


  • Xu, Rong
  • Greening, David W
  • Chen, Maoshan
  • Rai, Alin
  • Ji, Hong
  • Takahashi, Nobuhiro
  • Simpson, Richard

publication date

  • 2019