Research ArticleCELL BIOLOGY

Extracellular vesicles derived from ODN-stimulated macrophages transfer and activate Cdc42 in recipient cells and thereby increase cellular permissiveness to EV uptake

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Science Advances  24 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaav1564
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav1564


Endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate intracellular innate immunity via the recognition of DNA and RNA sequences. Recent work has reported a role for extracellular vesicles (EVs), known to transfer various nucleic acids, in uptake of TLR-activating molecules, raising speculation about possible roles of EVs in innate immune surveillance. Whether EV-mediated uptake is a general mechanism, however, was unresolved; and the molecular machinery that might be involved was unknown. We show that, when macrophages are stimulated with the TLR9 agonist CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN), the secreted EVs transport ODN into naïve macrophages and induce the release of chemokine TNF-α. In addition, these EVs transfer Cdc42 into recipient cells, resulting in further enhancement of their cellular uptake. Transport of ODN and Cdc42 from TLR9-activated macrophages to naïve cells via EVs exerts synergetic effects in propagation of the intracellular immune response, suggesting a general mechanism of EV-mediated uptake of pathogen-associated molecular patterns.

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