Cells release vesicles to the extracellular environment with characteristic nucleic acid, protein, lipid, and glycan composition. Here we have isolated and characterized extracellular vesicles (EVs) and total cell membranes (MBs) from ovarian carcinoma OVMz cells. EVs were enriched in specific markers, including Tsg101, CD63, CD9, annexin-I, and MBs contained markers of cellular membrane compartments, including calnexin, GRASP65, GS28, LAMP-1, and L1CAM. The glycoprotein galectin-3 binding protein (LGALS3BP) was strongly enriched in EVs and it contained sialylated complex N
-glycans. Lectin blotting with a panel of lectins showed that EVs had specific glycosignatures relative to MBs. Furthermore, the presence of glycoproteins bearing complex N
-glycans with α2,3-linked sialic acid, fucose, bisecting-GlcNAc and LacdiNAc structures, and O-glycans with the T-antigen were detected. The inhibition of N
-glycosylation processing from high mannose to complex glycans using kifunensine caused changes in the composition of EVs and induced a decrease of several glycoproteins. In conclusion, the results showed that glycosignatures of EVs were specific and altered glycosylation within the cell affected the composition and/or dynamics of EVs release. Furthermore, the identified glycosignatures of EVs could provide novel biomarkers for ovarian cancer.
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