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    Neuroblastoma (NB) is an aggressive infancy tumor, leading cause of death among preschool age diseases. Here we focused on characterization of exosomal DNA (exo-DNA) isolated from plasma cell-derived exosomes of neuroblastoma patients, and its potential use for detection of somatic mutations present in the parental tumor cells. Exosomes are small extracellular membrane vesicles secreted by most cells, playing an important role in intercellular communications. Using an enzymatic method, we provided evidence for the presence of double-stranded DNA in the NB exosomes. Moreover, by whole exome sequencing, we demonstrated that NB exo-DNA represents the entire exome and that it carries tumor-specific genetic mutations, including those occurring on known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in neuroblastoma (ALK, CHD5, SHANK2, PHOX2B, TERT, FGFR1, and BRAF). NB exo-DNA can be useful to identify variants responsible for acquired resistance, such as mutations of ALK, TP53, and RAS/MAPK genes that appear in relapsed patients. The possibility to isolate and to enrich NB derived exosomes from plasma using surface markers, and the quick and easy extraction of exo-DNA, gives this methodology a translational potential in the clinic. Exo-DNA can be an attractive non-invasive biomarker for NB molecular diagnostic, especially when tissue biopsy cannot be easily available.


    Chiara Degli Esposti, Barbara Iadarola, Simone Maestri, Cristina Beltrami, Denise Lavezzari, Martina Morini, Patrizia De Marco, Giovanni Erminio, Alberto Garaventa, Federico Zara, Massimo Delledonne, Marzia Ognibene, Annalisa Pezzolo. Exosomes from Plasma of Neuroblastoma Patients Contain Doublestranded DNA Reflecting the Mutational Status of Parental Tumor Cells. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Apr 01;22(7)

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    PMID: 33915956

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