Challenges posed by extracellular vesicles from eukaryotic microbes

Extracellular vesicles (EV) produced by eukaryotic microbes play an important role during infection. EV release is thought to benefit microbial invasion by delivering a high concentration of virulence factors to distal host cells or to the cytoplasm of a host cell. EV can significantly impact the outcome of host-pathogen interaction in a cargo-dependent manner. Release of EV from eukaryotic microbes poses unique challenges when compared to their bacterial or archaeal counterparts. Firstly, the membrane-bound organelles within eukaryotes facilitate multiple mechanisms of vesicle generation. Secondly, the fungal cell wall poses a unique barrier between the vesicle release site at the plasma membrane and its destined extracellular environment. This review focuses on these eukaryotic-specific aspects of vesicle synthesis and release.

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Wolf JM, Casadevall A. (2014) Challenges posed by extracellular vesicles from eukaryotic microbes. Curr Opin Microbiol 22C:73-78. [abstract]

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