Protein cargo of salivary small extracellular vesicles as potential functional signature of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Riccardo Alessandro, Simona Fontana, Giuseppina Campisi, Rodolfo Mauceri, Rodolfo Mauceri, Riccardo Alessandro, Maria Eugenia Novara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The early diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is still an investigative challenge. Saliva has been proposed as an ideal diagnostic medium for biomarker detection by mean of liquid biopsy technique. The aim of this pilot study was to apply proteomic and bioinformatic strategies to determine the potential use of saliva small extracellular vesicles (S/SEVs) as a potential tumor biomarker source. Among the twenty-three enrolled patients, 5 were free from diseases (OSCC_FREE), 6 were with OSCC without lymph node metastasis (OSCC_NLNM), and 12 were with OSCC and lymph node metastasis (OSCC_LNM). The S/SEVs from patients of each group were pooled and properly characterized before performing their quantitative proteome comparison based on the SWATH_MS (Sequential Window Acquisition of all Theoretical Mass Spectra) method. The analysis resulted in quantitative information for 365 proteins differentially characterizing the S/SEVs of analyzed clinical conditions. Bioinformatic analysis of the proteomic data highlighted that each S/SEV group was associated with a specific cluster of enriched functional network terms. Our results highlighted that protein cargo of salivary small extracellular vesicles defines a functional signature, thus having potential value as novel predict biomarkers for OSCC.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Cite this