Alcohol Exposure Impacts the Composition of HeLa-Derived Extracellular Vesicles
Extracellular vesicles are nanosized vesicles that are under intense investigation for their role in intercellular communication. Extracellular vesicles have begun to be examined for their role in disease protection and their role as disease biomarkers and/or vaccine agents. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of alcohol exposure on the biogenesis and composition of extracellular vesicles derived from the cervical cancer line, HeLa. The HeLa cells were cultured in exosome-free media and were either mock-treated (control) or treated with 50 mM or 100 mM of alcohol for 24 h and 48 h. Our results demonstrated that alcohol significantly impacts HeLa cell viability and exosome biogenesis/composition. Importantly, our studies demonstrate the critical role of alcohol on HeLa cells, as well as HeLa-derived extracellular vesicle biogenesis and composition. Specifically, these results indicate that alcohol alters extracellular vesicles’ packaging of heat shock proteins and apoptotic proteins. Extracellular vesicles serve as communicators for HeLa cells, as well as biomarkers for the initiation and progression of disease.