Malignant progression results from a dynamic cross-talk between stromal and cancer cells. Recent evidence suggests that this cross-talk is mediated to a significant extent by exosomes, nanovesicles secreted by most cell types and which allow the transfer of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids between cells. Adipocytes are a major component of several tumor microenvironments, including that of invasive melanoma, where cells have migrated to the adipocyte-rich hypodermic layer of the skin. We show that adipocytes secrete exosomes in abundance, which are then taken up by tumor cells, leading to increased migration and invasion. Using mass spectrometry, we analyzed the proteome of adipocyte exosomes. Interestingly, these vesicles carry proteins implicated in fatty acid oxidation (FAO), a feature highly specific to adipocyte exosomes. We further show that, in the presence of adipocyte exosomes, FAO is increased in melanoma cells. Inhibition of this metabolic pathway completely abrogates the exosome-mediated increase in migration. Moreover, in obese mice and humans, both the number of exosomes secreted by adipocytes as well as their effect on FAO-dependent cell migration are amplified. These observations might in part explain why obese melanoma patients have a poorer prognosis than their nonobese counterparts. Cancer Res; 76(14); 4051–7. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received March 7, 2016.
- Revision received May 10, 2016.
- Accepted May 18, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.