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Mini Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Cardiovasc. Med. | doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2018.00013

Platelet microparticles and miRNA transfer in cancer progression: many targets, modes of action, and effects across cancer stages

  • 1The Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center and Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, United States

Platelet-derived microparticles (PMPs) have long been known to increase in circulation in the presence of cancer, and have been considered to be cancer promoting by multiple mechanisms including shrouding of circulating tumor cells allowing immune evasion, inducing a procoagulant state associated with increased risk for venous thromboembolic events in cancer patients, and supporting metastatic dissemination by establishment of niches for anchorage of circulating tumor cells. These modes of PMP-enhanced progression of late stage cancer are generally based on the adhesive and procoagulant surfaces of PMPs. However, it is now clear that PMPs can also act as intercellular signaling vesicles, by fusion with target cells and transfer of a broad array of platelet-derived molecular contents including growth factors, angiogenic modulators, second messengers, lipids, and nucleic acids. It is also now well established that PMPs are major repositories of microRNAs (miRNAs). In recent years, new roles of PMPs in cancer have begun emerging, primarily reflecting their ability to transfer miRNA contents and modulate gene expression in target cells, allowing PMPs to affect cancer development at many stages. PMPs have been shown to interact with and transfer miRNAs to various blood vascular cells including endothelium, macrophages and neutrophils. As each of these contributes to cancer progression, PMP-mediated miRNA transfer can affect immune response, NETosis, tumor angiogenesis, and likely other cancer-associated processes. Recently, PMP miRNA transfer was found to suppress primary tumor growth, via PMP infiltration in solid tumors, anchorage to tumor cells and direct miRNA transfer, resulting in tumor cell gene suppression and inhibition of tumor growth. This mini-review will summarize current knowledge of PMP-miRNA interactions with cancer-associated cells and effects in cancer progression, and will indicate new research directions for understanding platelet-cancer interactions.

Keywords: platelets, miRNAs, Cancer, microparticles, Tumor growth

Received: 18 Dec 2017; Accepted: 12 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Wai Ho Tang, Guangzhou Women and Children Medical Center, China

Reviewed by:

Shizuka Uchida, Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII), United States
Jeonga Kim, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Goldfinger and Lazar. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Lawrence E. Goldfinger, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, The Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center and Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, 3420 N. Broad Street, MRB 220, Philadelphia, 19140, PA, United States,