BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma patients often experience poor outcomes despite chemotherapy treatment, likely due in part to various mechanisms of tumor cell innate and/or acquired drug resistance. Exosomes, microvesicles secreted by cells, have been shown to play a role in drug resistance, but a comprehensive protein signature relating to osteosarcoma carboplatin resistance has not been fully characterized.
METHODS: In this study, cell lysates and exosomes from two derivatives (HMPOS-2.5R and HMPOS-10R) of the HMPOS osteosarcoma cell line generated by repeated carboplatin treatment and recovery, were characterized proteomically by mass spectrometry. Protein cargos of circulating serum exosomes from dogs with naturally occurring osteosarcoma, were also assessed by mass spectrometry, to identify biomarkers that discriminate between good and poor responders to carboplatin therapy.
RESULTS: Both cell lysates and exosomes exhibited distinct protein signatures related to drug resistance. Furthermore, exosomes from the resistant HMPOS-2.5R cell line were found to transfer drug resistance to drug-sensitive HMPOS cells. The comparison of serum exosomes from dogs with a favorable disease-free interval [DFI] of > 300 days, and dogs with < 100 days DFI revealed a proteomic signature that could discriminate between the two cohorts with high accuracy. Furthermore, when the patient's exosomes were compared to exosomes isolated from carboplatin resistant cell lines, several putative biomarkers were found to be shared.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study highlight the significance of exosomes in the potential transfer of drug resistance, and the discovery of novel biomarkers for the development of liquid biopsies to better guide personalized chemotherapy treatment.