Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released from many cell types, including normal and pathological cells, and range from 30 to 1000nm in size. Once thought to be a mechanism for discarding unwanted cellular material, EVs are now thought to play a role in intercellular communication. Evidence is accruing that EVs are capable of carrying mRNAs, miRNAs, noncoding RNAs, and proteins, including those associated with neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, which may be exchanged between cells. For this reason, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers may share a common mechanism of disease spread via EVs. Understanding the role EVs play in disease initiation and progression will aid in the discovery of new clinically relevant biomarkers and the development of better targeted molecular and biological therapies.
The role of extracellular vesicles in the progression of neurodegenerative disease and cancer
Candelario KM, Steindler DA. (2014) The role of extracellular vesicles in the progression of neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Trends Mol Med [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]