Tumor-derived exosomes are nano-sized vesicles acting as multi-signal devices influencing tumor growth at local and distant sites. Exosomes are derived from the endolysosomal compartment and can shuttle diverse biomolecules like nucleic acids (microRNAs, DNA fragments), lipids, proteins and even pharmacological compounds from a donor cell to recipient cells. The transfer of cargo to recipient cells enables tumor-derived exosomes to influence diverse cellular functions like proliferation, cell survival and migration in recipient cells highlighting tumor-derived exosomes as important players in the communication within the tumor microenvironment and at distant sites. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers discuss mechanisms associated with exosome biogenesis and cargo sorting. In addition, they highlight the communication of tumor-derived exosomes in the tumor microenvironment during different phases of tumor development with a main focus on angiogenesis, immune escape mechanisms, drug resistance, and metastasis.
Communication in tiny packages – Exosomes as means of tumor-stroma communication
Daßler-Plenker J, Küttner V, Egeblad M. (2020) Communication in tiny packages: Exosomes as means of tumor-stroma communication. Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]