Exosomes are nano-sized (20-100nm) vesicles released by a variety of cells and are generated within the endosomal system or at the plasma membrane. There is emerging evidence that exosomes play a key role in intercellular communication in ovarian and other cancers. The protein and microRNA content of exosomes has been implicated in various intracellular processes that mediate oncogenesis, tumor spread, and drug resistance. Exosomes may prime distant tissue sites for reception of future metastases and their release can be mediated by the tumor microenvironment (e.g., hypoxia). Ovarian cancer-derived exosomes have unique features that could be leveraged for use as biomarkers to facilitate improved detection and treatment of the disease. Further, exosomes have the potential to serve as targets and/or drug delivery vehicles in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Exosome release and impact after reception
Ovarian cancer cells release exosomes, which fuse with recipient cells. Recipient cells can be other ovarian cancer cells or stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment. The protein and microRNA content of the exosomes act on the recipient cells, promoting tumor progression and drug resistance.
- Ovarian cancer exosomes play significant roles in intercellular communication.
- They impact tumor progression, metastasis, and drug resistance.
- They have potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.