Exosomes – key players in cancer and potential therapeutic strategy

Exosomes are extracellular vesicles secreted by most eukaryotic cells and participate in intercellular communication. The components of exosomes, including proteins, DNA, mRNA, microRNA, long noncoding RNA, circular RNA, etc., which play a crucial role in regulating tumor growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis in the process of cancer development, and can be used as a prognostic marker and/or grading basis for tumor patients.

Researchers from the Hunan Normal University discuss: the role of exosome contents in cancer, focusing on proteins and noncoding RNA; the interaction between exosomes and tumor microenvironment; the mechanisms that epithelial-mesenchymal transition, invasion and migration of tumor affected by exosomes; and tumor suppression strategies based on exosomes. Finally, the application potential of exosomes in clinical tumor diagnosis and therapy is prospected, which providing theoretical supports for using exosomes to serve precise tumor treatment in the clinic.

Signal transduction pathway of exosomes in tumor microenvironment

Fig. 2

The most important cells in tumor microenvironment mainly include CAFs, CSCs, MSCs, TMICs, etc. These four types of cells use exosomes to promote EMT, tumor metastasis and drug resistance through a variety of mechanisms. CAFs cancer-associated fibroblasts, CSCs cancer stem cells, MSCs mesenchymal stromal cells, TMICs tumor microenvironmental immune cells

Dai J, Su Y, Zhong S. et al. (2020) Exosomes: key players in cancer and potential therapeutic strategy. Sig Transduct Target Ther 5, 145. [article]

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