Bone metastasis represents one of the most deleterious clinical consequences arising in the context of many solid tumors. Severe osteolysis results from tumor cell colonization of the bone compartment, a process which entails reciprocal exchange of soluble signals between tumor cells and their osseous microenvironment. Recent evidence indicates that tumor-intrinsic miRNAs are pleiotropic regulators of gene expression. But they are also frequently released in exosome-like vesicles (ELV). Yet the functional relevance of the transference of tumor-derived ELV and their miRNA cargo to the extracellular milieu during osseous colonization is unknown.
Comparative transcriptomic profiling using an in vivo murine model of bone metastasis identified a repressed miRNA signature associated with high prometastatic activity. Forced expression of single miRNAs identified miR-192 that markedly appeased osseous metastasis in vivo, as shown by X-ray, bioluminescence imaging and microCT scans. Histological examination of metastatic lesions revealed impaired tumor-induced angiogenesis in vivo, an effect that was associated in vitro with decreased hallmarks of angiogenesis. Isolation and characterization of ELV by flow cytometry, Western blot analysis, transmission electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis revealed the ELV cargo enrichment in miR-192. Consistent with these findings, fluorescent labeled miR-192-enriched-ELV showed the in vitro transfer and release of miR-192 in target