Extracellular vesicles in gastrointestinal cancer in conjunction with microbiota: On the border of Kingdoms

Natasha S. Barteneva, Yeldar Baiken, Elizaveta Fasler-Kan, Kenneth Alibek, Sheng Wang, Natalia Maltsev, Eugeny D. Ponomarev, Zarina Sautbayeva, Sholpan Kauanova, Anna Moore, Christoph Beglinger, Ivan A. Vorobjev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Extracellular vesicle (EV) production is a universal feature of metazoan cells as well as prokaryotes (bMVs - bacterial microvesicls). They are small vesicles with phospholipid membrane carrying proteins, DNA and different classes of RNAs and are heavily involved in intercellular communication acting as vectors of information to target cells. For the last decade, the interest in EV research has exponentially increased though thorough studies of their roles in various pathologies that was not previously possible due to technical limitations.This review focuses on research evaluating the role of EV production in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer development in conjunction with GI microbiota and inflammatory diseases. We also discuss recent studies on the promising role of EVs and their content as biomarkers for early diagnosis of GI cancers. The bMVs have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of GI chronic inflammatory diseases, however, possible role of bMVs in tumorigenesis remains underestimated. We propose that EVs from eukaryotic cells as well as from different microbial, fungi, parasitic species and edible plants in GI tract act as mediators of intracellular and inter-species communication, particularly facilitating tumour cell survival and multi-drug resistance. In conclusion, we suggest that matching sequences from EV proteomes (available from public databases) with known protein sequences of microbiome gut bacteria will be useful in identification of antigen mimicry between evolutionary conservative protein sequences. Using this approach we identified Bacteroides spp. pseudokinase with activation loop and homology to PDGFRα, providing a proof-of-concept strategy. We speculate that existence of microbial pseudokinase that ‘mimic” PDGFRα may be related to PDGFRα and Bacteroides spp. roles in colorectal carcinogenesis that require further investigation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-393
Number of pages22
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 29 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Authors are grateful for grant support from Ministry of Science, Kazakhstan to I.A.V. and N.S.B, grant from Swiss IBD Cohort Study to E. F.-K., C.B. and N.S.B., Grant-in-Aid (University of Bern) to E.F.-K and Hong Kong RGC-ECS grant (ref. 24100314) to E.D.P. Space limitations prevented citation of all relevant literature. We also thank Aleksandra Gorelova (Harvard University) for help with editing of the manuscript.


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