Author(s): Kharaziha P, Ceder S, Li Q, Panaretakis T
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Abstract Exosomes constitute the newest mode of intercellular communication, transmitting information between cells. This exchange of molecular information is facilitated by their unique composition which is enriched with enzymes, structural proteins, adhesion molecules, lipid rafts and RNAs. Following the discovery that cancer cells secrete excessive amounts of exosomes compared to normal cells, it became evident that i) these vesicles can be used as diagnostic markers; ii) their active secretion has functional implications, albeit unknown whether they are tumor promoting or suppressing. Notably, the interplay via the exchange of exosomes between cancer cells and between cancer cells and the tumor stroma may promote the transfer of oncogenes (e.g. β-catenin, CEA, HER2, Melan-A/Mart-1 and LMP-1) and onco-microRNAs (e.g. let7, miR1, miR15, miR16 and miR375) from one cell to another, leading to the reprogramming of the recipient cells. The molecular composition and functional role of tumor cell-derived exosomes in tumorigenesis, metastasis and response to therapy are slowly decrypted and the latest findings as well as potential therapeutic strategies are discussed in this review. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis