Exosomes – from garbage bins to translational medicine

Exosomes are lipid bilayer-enclosed vesicles of endosomal origin, which initially considered as garbage bins to dispose unwanted cellular components, but they are now emerged as an intercellular communication system involved in several physiological and pathological conditions. With the increasing understanding that the healthy patients released exosomes with distinct proteins and RNAs, exosomes have been exploited as biomarkers for disease diagnosis and prognosis. Owing to the intrinsic immunomodulatory in a tumor microenvironment, exosomes have also been vaccinated into patients against malignant diseases. Moreover, the nano-metered exosomes are relatively stable in extracellular fluids. Thus they appear attractive in delivering “cargo” to destined cells with enhanced efficiency. Fudan University researchers outline the current knowledge in exosomal biogenesis and isolation. Furthermore, the biological activities of exosomes are also discussed with a focus on their potentials to be employed in translational medicine, especially as biomarkers, vaccines and therapeutic delivery system.

Liu Y, Wang Y, Lv Q, Li X. (2020) Exosomes: From garbage bins to translational medicine. Int J Pharm [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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