Exosomes: Extracellular communicators of health and disease

Cindy E McKinney
2016 Journal of Translational Science  
Exosomes are small microvesicles implicated in cell-cell communication locally and at distant body sites. Evidence suggests that exosomes can modulate normal cell function and are able to elicit disease alterations. For example, exosomes from Alzheimer brains have been shown to carry tau tangles and Parkinson patient exosomes contain α-synuclein. These putative "signals of pathology" are derived from intraluminal vesicles formed as endosome products either destined for degradation at the
more » ... ation at the lysosomal-endosomal interface or extruded into extracellular space to be captured by recipient cells. Exosome cargo, packaged from selective cytoplasmic entities, can be proteins, RNAs or other biomolecules like lipids. Exosome cargo from disease cell lines has revealed both translatable mRNA and non-coding RNAs (lncRNA and microRNAs) that potentially have a gene/cell regulatory role. Exosomes appear important for establishing micro-niches for cancer metastasis and are being investigated as participants in neurodegenerative diseases. Numerous exosome proteins and RNAs may be useful as biomarkers of disease. Finally, since exosomes are natural cell shuttles of a variety of cargo and pass the blood-brain barrier, investigators are evaluating whether synthetic cargoes can be loaded into exosomes and used as a therapeutic approach to alleviate disease. McKinney CE (2016) Exosomes: Extracellular communicators of health and disease
doi:10.15761/jts.1000157 fatcat:vrhbv76rwvbbvdpsba4gwv6qua