International Journal of Molecular Sciences – Special Issue – Focus on Extracellular Vesicles

Within the past decade, extracellular vesicles have not only emerged as important mediators of intercellular communication, but also their pathophysiological roles in diseases, such as cancer and infectious and neurodegenerative diseases, are increasingly being recognized. Extracellular vesicles are a heterogeneous group of lipidic structures ranging from 30–50,000 nm in size, and can roughly be subdivided into apoptotic bodies, ectosomes, and exosomes. Microvesicles have been isolated from tissues and bodily fluids, including blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid, and contain a.o., proteins, RNA and DNA. After the discovery of post-translational modification, DNA methylation, and the interference with protein synthesis by microRNAs, exosomal transport of genetic material represents yet another regulatory and signaling mechanism in normal and pathobiological processes, apart from classical gene expression. Furthermore, these naturally occurring vesicles hold great promise as targets for combating disease, and as novel regenerative therapeutics and drug carriers.

This Special Issue of IJMS kicks off with a series of reviews that jointly provide a comprehensive overview of this exciting and emerging field of life sciences.

Review: Focus on Extracellular Vesicles: New Frontiers of Cell-to-Cell Communication in Cancer
by Chiara Ciardiello, Lorenzo Cavallini, Cristiana Spinelli, Julie Yang, Mariana Reis-Sobreiro, Paola de Candia, Valentina Renè Minciacchi and Dolores Di Vizio
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 175; doi:10.3390/ijms17020175
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 174; doi:10.3390/ijms17020174
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(2), 173; doi:10.3390/ijms17020173
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(2), 171; doi:10.3390/ijms17020171
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(1), 63; doi:10.3390/ijms17010063
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2016, 17(1), 13; doi:10.3390/ijms17010013

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