Effects of Ureaplasma parvum infection in the exosome biogenesis-related proteins in ectocervical epithelial cells

Ourlad Alzeus G. Tantengco, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ureaplasma parvum is a mycoplasma commonly associated with female reproductive pathologies, such as preterm birth and infertility. It can survive intracellularly and utilize exosomes to propagate infection and its virulence factors. This study explored the differential protein composition of exosomes derived from normal and U. parvum-infected cells. We also investigated the impact of U. parvum on exosome biogenesis in ectocervical epithelial cells. Ectocervical epithelial (ECTO) cells were infected with U. parvum, and immunocytochemical staining was performed using U. parvum-specific marker multiple banded antigen (mba) and exosome marker CD9. NanoLC–MS/MS analysis was conducted to identify differentially expressed proteins in exosomes. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was performed to identify affected canonical pathways and biological functions associated with the protein cargo of exosomes. Western blot analysis of ECTO cells validated the proteomic findings in ECTO cells. U. parvum exhibited colonization of ECTO cells and colocalization with CD9-positive intraluminal vesicles. Proteomic analysis revealed decreased protein abundance and distinct protein profiles in exosomes derived from U. parvum-infected ECTO cells. Differentially expressed proteins were associated with clathrin-mediated endocytosis and various signaling pathways indicative of infection, inflammation, and cell death processes. Additionally, U. parvum infection altered proteins involved in exosome biogenesis. In ECTO cells, U. parvum infection significantly decreased clathrin, ALIX, CD9, and CD63 and significantly increased TSG101, Rab5, Rab35, and UGCG. These findings contribute to our understanding of the infection mechanism and shed light on the importance of exosome-mediated communication in the pathophysiology of diseases affecting the cervix, such as cervicitis and preterm birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13803
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • ectocervix
  • extracellular vesicles
  • infection
  • multiple banded antigen
  • mycoplasma
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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