Journal article

Prion-infected cells regulate the release of exosomes with distinct ultrastructural features

Bradley M Coleman, Eric Hanssen, Victoria A Lawson, Andrew F Hill



Exosomes are small membrane-bound vesicles released from cells and found in vivo in most biological fluids. Functions reported for exosomes include cell-cell communication, roles in modulating immune responses, and roles in the transfer of pathogens such as prions. Here we investigated the molecular characteristics of the structure of exosomes that harbor prion infectivity to determine the native structure of exosomes and whether infected exosomes have a distinct structure. Cryo-electron tomography revealed the previously unidentified ultrastructural detail of exosomes with high resolution. Exosomes were found to be naturally spherical in shape and to have a diverse population that varies in..

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Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship

Awarded by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr. Percy Chu (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Melbourne) for kindly providing mouse brain tissue used in this study, and Dr. David Cullis-Hill (Biopharm Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia) for kindly providing PPS. This study was funded by grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; grants 628946 and 400202; B.M.C. is supported by an NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship (grant 628959), and A.F.H. is supported by an Australian Research Council ( Future Fellowship (grant FT100100560). A.F.H., B.M.C., and V.A.L. designed research; B.M.C. and E.G. performed research; B.M.C., A.F.H., E.G., and V.A.L. analyzed data; B.M.C. and A.F.H. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.