The development of effective nanosystems for drug delivery represents a key challenge for the improvement of most current anticancer therapies. Recent progress in the understanding of structure and function of extracellular vesicles (EVs)-specialized membrane-bound nanocarriers for intercellular communication-suggests that they might also serve as optimal delivery systems of therapeutics. In addition to carrying proteins, lipids, DNA and different forms of RNAs, EVs can be engineered to deliver specific bioactive molecules to target cells. Exploitation of their molecular composition and physical properties, together with improvement in bio-techniques to modify their content are critical issues to target them to specific cells/tissues/organs. University of Palermo researchers discuss the current developments in the field of animal and plant-derived EVs toward their potential use for delivery of therapeutic agents in different pathological conditions, with a special focus on cancer.
Extracellular vesicles as biological shuttles for targeted therapies
Raimondo S, Giavaresi G, Lorico A, Alessandro R. (2019) Extracellular Vesicles as Biological Shuttles for Targeted Therapies. Int J Mol Sci 20(8). [article]