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Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics. 2015 Feb;13(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.gpb.2015.02.001. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Exosome and exosomal microRNA: trafficking, sorting, and function.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Genomics and Precision Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jinan Central Hospital, Shandong University, Shandong 250013, China.
3
Key Laboratory of Genomics and Precision Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Tsinghua-Peking Center for Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
5
Key Laboratory of Genomics and Precision Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: mishl@big.ac.cn.

Abstract

Exosomes are 40-100 nm nano-sized vesicles that are released from many cell types into the extracellular space. Such vesicles are widely distributed in various body fluids. Recently, mRNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified in exosomes, which can be taken up by neighboring or distant cells and subsequently modulate recipient cells. This suggests an active sorting mechanism of exosomal miRNAs, since the miRNA profiles of exosomes may differ from those of the parent cells. Exosomal miRNAs play an important role in disease progression, and can stimulate angiogenesis and facilitate metastasis in cancers. In this review, we will introduce the origin and the trafficking of exosomes between cells, display current research on the sorting mechanism of exosomal miRNAs, and briefly describe how exosomes and their miRNAs function in recipient cells. Finally, we will discuss the potential applications of these miRNA-containing vesicles in clinical settings.

KEYWORDS:

Cell-to-cell communication; Circulating microRNA; Exosome; Extracellular microRNA; Sorting

PMID:
25724326
PMCID:
PMC4411500
DOI:
10.1016/j.gpb.2015.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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