The Constitutive Extracellular Protein Release by Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells—A Proteomic Study of Patient Heterogeneity and Its Modulation by Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCancers. 2021, 13 (7), 1509. 10.3390/cancers13071509
Extracellular protein release is important both for the formation of extracellular matrix and for communication between cells. We investigated the extracellular protein release by in vitro cultured normal mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and by primary human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells derived from 40 consecutive patients. We observed quantifiable levels of 3082 proteins in our study; for the MSCs, we detected 1446 proteins, whereas the number of released proteins for the AML cells showed wide variation between patients (average number 1699, range 557–2380). The proteins were derived from various cellular compartments (e.g., cell membrane, nucleus, and cytoplasms), several organelles (e.g., cytoskeleton, endoplasmatic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and mitochondria) and had various functions (e.g., extracellular matrix and exosomal proteins, cytokines, soluble adhesion molecules, protein synthesis, post-transcriptional modulation, RNA binding, and ribonuclear proteins). Thus, AML patients were very heterogeneous both regarding the number of proteins and the nature of their extracellularly released proteins. The protein release profiles of MSCs and primary AML cells show a considerable overlap, but a minority of the proteins are released only or mainly by the MSC, including several extracellular matrix molecules. Taken together, our observations suggest that the protein profile of the extracellular bone marrow microenvironment differs between AML patients, these differences are mainly caused by the protein release by the leukemic cells but this leukemia-associated heterogeneity of the overall extracellular protein profile is modulated by the constitutive protein release by normal MSCs.