Article

Itinerant exosomes: emerging roles in cell and tissue polarity.

Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.
Trends in cell biology (Impact Factor: 12.12). 06/2008; 18(5):199-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.03.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cells use secreted signals (e.g. chemokines and growth factors) and sophisticated vehicles such as argosomes, cytonemes, tunneling nanotubes and exosomes to relay important information to other cells, often over large distances. Exosomes, 30-100-nm intraluminal vesicles of multivesicular bodies (MVB) released upon exocytic fusion of the MVB with the plasma membrane, are increasingly recognized as a novel mode of cell-independent communication. Exosomes have been shown to function in antigen presentation and tumor metastasis, and in transmitting infectious agents. However, little is known about the biogenesis and function of exosomes in polarized cells. In this review, we discuss new evidence suggesting that exosomes participate in the transport of morphogens and RNA, and thus influence cell polarity and developmental patterning of tissues.

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