Caveolin-1-driven membrane remodelling regulates hnRNPK-mediated exosomal microRNA sorting in cancer

Harley Robinson, Jayde E. Ruelcke, Amanda Lewis, Charles S. Bond, Archa H. Fox, Vandhana Bharti, Shivangi Wani, Nicole Cloonan, Andrew Lai, David Margolin, Li Li, Carlos Salomon, Renée S. Richards, Aine Farrell, Robert A. Gardiner, Robert G. Parton, Alexandre S. Cristino, Michelle M. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Caveolae proteins play diverse roles in cancer development and progression. In prostate cancer, non-caveolar caveolin-1 (CAV1) promotes metastasis, while CAVIN1 attenuates CAV1-induced metastasis. Here, we unveil a novel mechanism linking CAV1 to selective loading of exosomes with metastasis-promoting microRNAs. Results: We identify hnRNPK as a CAV1-regulated microRNA binding protein. In the absence of CAVIN1, non-caveolar CAV1 drives localisation of hnRPNK to multi-vesicular bodies (MVBs), recruiting AsUGnA motif-containing miRNAs and causing their release within exosomes. This process is dependent on the lipid environment of membranes as shown by cholesterol depletion using methyl-β-cyclodextrin or by treatment with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consistent with a role in bone metastasis, knockdown of hnRNPK in prostate cancer PC3 cells abolished the ability of PC3 extracellular vesicles (EV) to induce osteoclastogenesis, and biofluid EV hnRNPK is elevated in metastatic prostate and colorectal cancer. Conclusions: Taken together, these results support a novel pan-cancer mechanism for CAV1-driven exosomal release of hnRNPK and associated miRNA in metastasis, which is modulated by the membrane lipid environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere381
JournalClinical and Translational Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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