Junior Research Fellow in Biomedical Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Olavi Reinsalu received his diplomas for his bachelor’s and master’s degree in the curriculum of gene technology at the University of Tartu in 2012 and 2015, respectively. For the research of his master’s thesis he studied virus-like particles carrying melanoma antigens. After graduation he worked for three years as a researcher in University of Tartu and Competence Center of Health Technologies developing a bovine fluorescence in situ hybridization technique as part of a R&D project for agricultural enterprises. Starting from fall 2018 he became a doctoral student in University of Tartu studying in the curriculum of technology and engineering specializing in biomedical technology. His PhD study is continuation of his research from master’s and is also about extracellular vesicles and virus-like particles carrying melanoma antigens.
Cancer-testis antigen MAGE-A4 carrying EVs - tools for cancer theranostics
Cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) are proteins that are normally expressed mainly in testis but aberrantly in various tumours. It has been shown that CTAs contribute to tumorigenic processes and, as antigens, these proteins are known to induce anticancer immune responses. MAGE-A4, a known CTA, is a soluble cytoplasmic or nuclear protein with a partially disordered structure. Although its exact cellular function has largely remained elusive, MAGE-A4 has been shown to have tumorigenic and antitumorigenic properties. We have discovered that MAGE-A4 is incorporated into virus-like particles and native extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by cells that express it. The artificially induced VLPs and natively emerged EVs expose MAGE-A4 to their outer surface, which is considered a fascinating phenomenon considering the intracellular localization of MAGE-A4. In the speech, MAGE-A4 carrying vesicles will be described showing their potential for anti-cancer therapeutic and diagnostic techniques.