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Biol Direct. 2013 Jun 7;8:12. doi: 10.1186/1745-6150-8-12.

Exosomes secreted by human cells transport largely mRNA fragments that are enriched in the 3'-untranslated regions.

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Department of Genome and Gene Expression Data Analysis, Bioinformatics Institute, 30 Biopolis str #07-01, Singapore.


Small secreted membrane vesicles called exosomes have recently attracted a great interest after the discovery that they transfer mRNA that can be translated into protein in recipient cells. Surprisingly, we found that for the majority of exosomal mRNAs only a fraction of their corresponding probes is detectable on the expression microarrays. Exosomal mRNA fragmentation is characterized with a specific structural pattern. The closer to the 3'-end of the transcript the fragments are localized, the larger fraction among the secreted RNAs they constitute. Since the 3'-ends of transcripts contain elements conferring subcellular localization of mRNA and are rich in miRNA-binding sites, exosomal RNA may act as competing RNA to regulate stability, localization and translation activity of mRNAs in recipient cells.


This article was reviewed by Neil Smalheiser and Sandor Pongor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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