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[210122 저널발표] Exosomes induce endolysosomal permeabilization as a gateway by which exosomal tau seeds escape into the cytosol

Kyujin Suh │ 2021-01-20



2021 Jan 8.
 doi: 10.1007/s00401-020-02254-3. Online ahead of print.

Exosomes induce endolysosomal permeabilization as a gateway by which exosomal tau seeds escape into the cytosol



The microtubule-associated protein tau has a critical role in Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies. A proposed pathomechanism in the progression of tauopathies is the trans-synaptic spreading of tau seeds, with a role for exosomes which are secretory nanovesicles generated by late endosomes. Our previous work demonstrated that brain-derived exosomes isolated from tau transgenic rTg4510 mice encapsulate tau seeds with the ability to induce tau aggregation in recipient cells. We had also shown that exosomes can hijack the endosomal pathway to spread through interconnected neurons. Here, we reveal how tau seeds contained within internalized exosomes exploit mechanisms of lysosomal degradation to escape the endosome and induce tau aggregation in the cytosol of HEK293T-derived 'tau biosensor cells'. We found that the majority of the exosome-containing endosomes fused with lysosomes to form endolysosomes. Exosomes induced their permeabilization, irrespective of the presence of tau seeds, or whether the exosomal preparations originated from mouse brains or HEK293T cells. We also found that permeabilization is a conserved mechanism, operating in both non-neuronal tau biosensor cells and primary neurons. However, permeabilization of endolysosomes only occurred in a small fraction of cells, which supports the notion that permeabilization occurs by a thresholded mechanism. Interestingly, tau aggregation was only induced in cells that exhibited permeabilization, presenting this as an escape route of exosomal tau seeds into the cytosol. Overexpression of RAB7, which is required for the formation of endolysosomes, strongly increased tau aggregation. Conversely, inhibition of lysosomal function with alkalinizing agents, or by knocking-down RAB7, decreased tau aggregation. Together, we conclude that the enzymatic activities of lysosomes permeabilize exosomal and endosomal membranes, thereby facilitating access of exosomal tau seeds to cytosolic tau to induce its aggregation. Our data underscore the importance of endosomal membrane integrity in mechanisms of cellular invasion by misfolded proteins that are resistant to lysosomal degradation.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Autophagy; Endosome; Exosome; Lysosome; Microtubule-associated protein tau; Protein aggregation; Spreading; seeding.

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