The biology of extracellular vesicles and their role in cancer development and progression

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous group of structures which can be classified into smaller in size and relatively homogenous exosomes (EXSMs)-spherical fragments of lipid bilayers from inner cell compartments-and bigger in size ectosomes (ECSMs)-a direct consequence of cell-membrane blebbing. EVs can be found in body fluids of healthy individuals. Their number increases in cancer and other pathological conditions. EVs can originate from various cell types, including leukocytes, erythrocytes, thrombocytes, and neoplastic cells. Platelet microparticles (PMPs) are the most abundant population of EVs in blood. It is well documented that PMPs, being a crucial element of EVs signaling, are involved in tumor growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis and may participate in the development of multidrug resistance by tumor cells.


Formation of exosomes (EXSMs) and ectosomes (ECSMs)

Żmigrodzka M, Guzera M, Miśkiewicz A, Jagielski D, Winnicka A. (2016) The biology of extracellular vesicles with focus on platelet microparticles and their role in cancer development and progression. Tumour Biol [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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