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Front Chem. 2017 Nov 21;5:102. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2017.00102. eCollection 2017.

A Perspective on Extracellular Vesicles Proteomics.

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GlycoProteomics Laboratory, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Proteomic and Metabonomic Laboratory, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy.
Institute of Biochemistry and Biochemical Clinic, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.


Increasing attention has been given to secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the past decades, especially in the portrayal of their molecular cargo and role as messengers in both homeostasis and pathophysiological conditions. This review presents the state-of-the-art proteomic technologies to identify and quantify EVs proteins along with their PTMs, interacting partners and structural details. The rapid growth of mass spectrometry-based analytical strategies for protein sequencing, PTMs and structural characterization has improved the level of molecular details that can be achieved from limited amount of EVs isolated from different biological sources. Here we will provide a perspective view on the achievements and challenges on EVs proteome characterization using mass spectrometry. A detailed bioinformatics approach will help us to picture the molecular fingerprint of EVs and understand better their pathophysiological function.


bottom-up; crosslinking; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; mass spectrometry; post-translational modification; proteomics; top-down

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