Exosomal microRNAs in liquid biopsies

Prostate cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in males in the world. Plasma quantification of prostate-specific antigen substantially improved the early detection of prostate cancer, but still lacks the required specificity. Clinical management of prostate cancer needs advances in the development of new non-invasive biomarkers, ameliorating current diagnosis and prognosis and guiding therapeutic decisions. microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. These miRNAs are expressed in the cells and are also present in cell-derived extracellular vesicles such as exosomes. Exosomes have been shown to act as mediators for cell to cell communication because of the regulatory functions of their content. High levels of exosomes are found in several body fluids from cancer patients and could be a potential source of non-invasive biomarkers.

Exosomes promote cell–cell communication playing an important role in gene regulation due to their ability to transport cancer-promoting material such as miRNAs

Valentino A, Reclusa P, Sirera R, Giallombardo M, Camps C, Pauwels P, Crispi S, Rolfo C. (2017) Exosomal microRNAs in liquid biopsies: future biomarkers for prostate cancer. Clin Transl Oncol [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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