Introduction: Glioma cells exert influence over the tumor-microenvironment in part through the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), membrane-enclosed structures containing proteins, lipids, and RNAs. In this study, we evaluated the function of Ras-associated protein 27a (Rab27a) in glioma and evaluated the feasibility of assessing its role in EV release in glioma cells in vitro and in vivo. Methods: Rab27a was knocked down via a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) stably expressed in mouse glioma cell line GL261, with a scrambled shRNA as control. EVs were isolated by ultracentrifugation and quantified with Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) and Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing (TRPS). CellTiter-Glo viability assays and cytokine arrays were used to evaluate the impact of Rab27a knockdown. GL261.shRab27a cells and GL261.shControl were implanted into the left striatum of eight mice to assess tumor growth and changes in the tumor microenvironment. Results: Knockdown of Rab27a in GL261 glioma cells decreased the release of small EVs isolated at 100,000 × g in vitro (p = 0.005), but not the release of larger EVs, isolated at 10,000 × g. GL261.shRab27a cells were less viable compared to the scramble control in vitro (p < 0.005). A significant increase in CCL2 expression in shRab27a GL261 cells was also observed (p < 0.001). However, in vivo there was no difference in tumor growth or overall survival between the two groups, while shRab27a tumors showed lower proliferation at the tumor borders. Decreased infiltration of IBA1 positive macrophages and microglia, but not FoxP3 positive regulatory T cells was observed. Conclusion: Rab27a plays an important role in the release of small EVs from glioma cells, and also in their viability and expression of CCL2 in vitro. As interference in Rab27a expression influences glioma cell viability and expression profiles, future studies should be cautious in using the knockdown of Rab27a as a means of studying the role of small EVs in glioma growth.

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Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Department of Neurosurgery

van Solinge, T.S. (Thomas S.), Abels, E.R. (Erik R.), van de Haar, L.L. (Lieke L.), Hanlon, K.S. (Killian S.), Maas, S.L.N, Schnoor, R, … Broekman, M.L.D. (2020). Versatile Role of Rab27a in Glioma: Effects on Release of Extracellular Vesicles, Cell Viability, and Tumor Progression. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 7. doi:10.3389/fmolb.2020.554649