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Bioessays. 2007 Jul;29(7):654-67.

Extracellular nucleic acids.

Author information

1
Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Novosibirsk, Russia. valentin.vlassov@niboch.nsc.ru

Abstract

Extracellular nucleic acids are found in different biological fluids in the organism and in the environment: DNA is a ubiquitous component of the organic matter pool in the soil and in all marine and freshwater habitats. Data from recent studies strongly suggest that extracellular DNA and RNA play important biological roles in microbial communities and in higher organisms. DNA is an important component of bacterial biofilms and is involved in horizontal gene transfer. In recent years, the circulating extracellular nucleic acids were shown to be associated with some diseases. Attempts are being made to develop noninvasive methods of early tumor diagnostics based on analysis of circulating DNA and RNA. Recent observations demonstrated the possibility of nucleic acids exchange between eukaryotic cells and extracellular space suggesting their participation in so far unidentified biological processes.

PMID:
17563084
DOI:
10.1002/bies.20604
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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