Exosomes Research

Exosomes – Biogenesis, Structure and Significance

Exosomes are small spherical to cup-shaped nanoparticles/membrane vesicles (30-100 nm in diameter). They are generated in the late endosomal compartment through inward budding of multivesicular bodies (MVBs).

Pioneering studies documented the generation of exosomes in differentiating reticulocytes as a result of the fusion of multivesicular endosomes/MVBs with the plasma membrane. However, later studies established that exosomes are actively secreted by almost all cells through exocytosis either constitutively or through induction, under normal or pathological conditions, and in a dynamic, regulated and functionally relevant manner.

In experimental and clinical settings, exosomes have been isolated from a range of cell lines (primary, hematopoietic, cancer, and/or virus infected cell cultures) as well as from biological fluids (serum and plasma) and other body fluids (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, pleural effusions, synovial fluid, urine, amniotic fluid, semen, saliva, etc). Exosomes contain multiple proteins, lipids, DNA, RNAs (mRNA, miRNA, ncRNA), and even biomolecules for viruses and prions.

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Biogenesis and Molecular Composition of Exosomes

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Exosomes have the ability to transfer information in the form of their contents, thus acting as signalosomes, either locally or by travelling to distant tissues wherein they influence various cellular functions. Some of the biological processes which are regulated by exosomes are:

  • Cell metabolism and signaling
  • Development and regeneration
  • Cell adhesion and motility
  • Immune response, inflammation
  • Exchange of pathogenic proteins/organisms
  • Tumor progression and metastasis
  • Stemness and reprogramming
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Neural development, homeostasis and
    neurodiseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and ALS)

Exosome Research Tools

Exosomes research is an emerging area among scientists from all walks of biological sciences, especially the ones experimenting on sub-areas mentioned above. To enable researchers with the tools they need for the isolation, quantification and analysis of normal or disease related exosomes, Novus Biologicals now offers: