Exosomes in intercellular communication and therapy
Walter and Eliza Hall Intitute
1g Royal Parade, Parkville
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Exosomes are membrane vesicles of endocytic origin that are released by many cell types into the extracellular microenvironment upon the fusion of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) with the plasma membrane. Exosomes influence the physiology of neighbouring cells and play a vital role in intercellular communication being conveyors of proteins, RNA and lipids that affect downstream signaling events in the recipient cells. The molecular content of exosomes and the biological function that is performed are influenced by the cell of origin. Mathivanan lab studies the intercellular transfer of constitutively active mutant β-catenin via exosomes. Furthermore, chemotherapeutic drug resistance can be transferred between cell types via exosomes. Current research in Mathivanan lab explores strategies to attenuate the secretion of exosomes by cancer cells and study the phenotype in the context of metastasis, tumor burden and chemotherapeutic drug resistance.
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