"A secretory form of Parkin-independent mitophagy contributes to the repertoire of extracellular vesicles released into the tumour interstitial fluid in vivo"
ABSTRACT: We characterized the in vivo interstitial fluid (IF) content of extracellular vesicles (EVs) using the GFP-4T1 syngeneic murine cancer model to study EVs in-transit to the draining lymph node. GFP labelling confirmed the IF EV tumour cell origin. Molecular analysis revealed an abundance of IF EV-associated proteins specifically involved in mitophagy and secretory autophagy. A set of proteins required for sequential steps of fission-induced mitophagy preferentially populated the CD81+/PD-L1+ IF EVs; PINK1, TOM20, and ARIH1 E3 ubiquitin ligase (required for Parkin-independent mitophagy), DRP1 and FIS1 (mitochondrial peripheral fission), VDAC-1 (ubiquitination state triggers mitophagy away from apoptosis), VPS35, SEC22b, and Rab33b (vacuolar sorting). Comparing in vivo IF EVs to in vitro EVs revealed 40% concordance, with an elevation of mitophagy proteins in the CD81+ EVs for both murine and human cell lines subjected to metabolic stress. The export of cellular mitochondria proteins to CD81+ EVs was confirmed by density gradient isolation from the bulk EV isolate followed by anti-CD81 immunoprecipitation, molecular sieve chromatography, and MitoTracker export into CD81+ EVs. We propose the 4T1 in vivo model as a versatile tool to functionally characterize IF EVs. IF EV export of fission mitophagy proteins has broad implications for mitochondrial function and cellular immunology.