Science Webinar Series

Webinar | Translational applications in exosome research: From biomarker discovery to drug delivery

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Science  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6334, pp. 209
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6334.209-b

Summary

Exosomes—small, membrane-derived extracellular vesicles capable of carrying diverse biological cargo including proteins and microRNAs—have been found in a broad range of biological fluids and appear to be predominantly involved in cell-to-cell communication. Their natural characteristics make them uniquely suited for research and clinical applications, including as biomarkers both for diseases and for intrinsic biological activity. In fact, exosomes have been postulated to mediate the biological cross-talk that takes place between tumors and their surrounding environment that drives those tumors toward a metastatic state. In addition, exosomes are being co-opted as a treatment modality and have been modified through their parental cells to express a targeting moiety or marker tag on their surface. They can also be manipulated to carry drug formulations that can be applied to the treatment of a wide variety of disorders, such as cancer and various infectious, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases.