Cells release membrane-enclosed extracellular
vesicles (EVs), which act as intercellular messengers, by transferring surface
or internal signals into surrounding cells. The host laboratory aims at
unraveling the diversity of EVs, with a goal to identify EVs able to induce
anti-tumor immune responses. It has identified two proteins whose expression in
virus-infected cells may change the downstream immune functions of their EVs.
This project will explore this hypothesis in human cancer. Expression of the
identified targets will be manipulated in breast cancer cell lines, and the
consequences on EV release, tumor growth and immune responses will be
evaluated. A long-term goal is to identify EVs with potential as anti-tumor
immunotherapies in breast cancer.