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Biotechniques-future

Intercellular interactions are pivotal for basic cellular activities and errors in either receiving or transmitting these signals are shown to cause pathological conditions. Whilst, such intercellular communications were once thought to be regulated by membrane surface molecules and/or soluble secreted proteins by stimulating the target cells through receptor mediated activation, increasing evidences suggest that extracellular microvesicles (EMVs) can also trigger such signaling events in the target cells. Exosomes and shedding microvesicles (SMVs) are classes of EMVs that are membrane enclosed organelles released by cells under physiological and pathological conditions. Among the EMVs, exosomes are small (40-100 nm diameter) membraneous vesicles of endocytic origin while SMVs (also referred to as ectosomes) are large membranous vesicles (50-1000 nm diameter) that are shed directly from the plasma membrane (PM). Recent studies have shown that these EMVs mediate intercellular communication and are shown to harbour mRNA, microRNA, proteins and lipids based on the host cell. [Mathivanan S (2012) Exosomes and Shedding Microvesicles are Mediators of Intercellular Communication: How do they Communicate with the Target Cells]
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Last date updated on June, 2014

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