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    The tumor microenvironment is deeply involved in the process of tumor growth and development. In this study, we focused on cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and their derived exosomes on the lymphoma microenvironment to uncover their clinical significance. CAFs were established from primary lymphoma samples, and exosomes secreted from CAFs were obtained by standard procedures. We then investigated the roles of CAFs and their derived exosomes in the survival and drug resistance of lymphoma cells. CAFs supported the survival of lymphoma cells through increased glycolysis, and the extent differed among CAFs. Exosomes were identified as a major component of the extracellular vesicles from CAFs, and they also supported the survival of lymphoma cells. The suppression of RAB27B, which is involved in the secretion of exosomes, using a specific siRNA resulted in reduced exosome secretion and decreased survival of lymphoma cells. Moreover, anti-pyrimidine drug resistance was induced in the presence of exosomes through the suppression of the pyrimidine transporter, equilibrative nucleoside transporter 2 (ENT2), and the suppression of ENT2 was significant in in vivo experiments and clinical samples. RNA sequencing analysis of miRNAs in exosomes identified miR-4717-5p as one of the most abundant miRNAs in the exosome, which suppressed the expression of ENT2 and induced anti-pyrimidine drug resistance in vitro. Our results suggest that exosomes including miR-4717-5p secreted from CAFs play a pivotal role in the lymphoma microenvironment, indicating that they are a promising therapeutic target.


    Shunsuke Kunou, Kazuyuki Shimada, Mika Takai, Akihiko Sakamoto, Tomohiro Aoki, Tomoya Hikita, Yusuke Kagaya, Eisuke Iwamoto, Masashi Sanada, Satoko Shimada, Fumihiko Hayakawa, Chitose Oneyama, Hitoshi Kiyoi. Exosomes secreted from cancer-associated fibroblasts elicit anti-pyrimidine drug resistance through modulation of its transporter in malignant lymphoma. Oncogene. 2021 Jun;40(23):3989-4003

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    PMID: 33994542

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