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Trends Microbiol. 2018 May;26(5):401-410. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2018.02.009. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Extracellular Vesicle RNA: A Universal Mediator of Microbial Communication?

Author information

1
Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Current address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, 2522 Wollongong, Australia; Both authors contributed equally to this work.
2
Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Both authors contributed equally to this work.
3
Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
4
Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, 10117 Berlin, Germany; The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR), Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden; Institute for Biology, Humboldt University, 10115 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: research-charpentier@mpiib-berlin.mpg.de.

Abstract

Both extracellular RNAs and extracellular vesicles (EVs) have recently garnered attention as novel mediators of intercellular communication in eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike. EVs not only permit export of RNA, but also facilitate delivery and trans-kingdom exchange of these and other biomolecules, for instance between microbes and their hosts. In this Opinion article, we propose that EV-mediated export of RNA represents a universal mechanism for interkingdom and intrakingdom communication that is conserved among bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic microbes. We speculate how microbes might use EV RNA to influence target cell gene expression or manipulate host immune responses.

KEYWORDS:

OMV; RNA; TLR; extracellular vesicles; gene silencing

PMID:
29548832
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2018.02.009

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