Exosomes play an important role in both local and systemic cellular communication, carrying most types of biomolecules (including DNAs, RNAs, proteins and lipids) between cells and tissues. The properties of exosomes may allow us to utilize them for therapeutic and clinical purposes. Cancer management is an attractive target.
Cell Guidance Systems Blog
A recent study published by collaborators working in Chile is the first to describe some remarkable anti-bacterial properties of exosome-like vesicles (ELVs) isolated from honeybee products including honey, royal jelly and pollen
Growth factors (GFs), which include cytokines, are rather unstable proteins with half-lives sometimes as short as a few minutes. This instability is an important part of their function. Imagine GFs that persisted for months in-vivo: they would be widely diffused and their ability to define tissues would be lost.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are microscopic hollow lipid spheres which shuttle cargo, including proteins and nucleic acids, between cells. The biological importance of EVs in normal tissue homeostasis and also disease is well established. Consequently, their clinical potential as therapeutics and diagnostics is the focus of much attention.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), and exosomes in particular, are transitioning from academic research to biotech development and onwards towards the clinic. Close to 50 EV companies have already emerged, particularly since 2017, with growing support from investors. These companies are focusing on both therapeutic and diagnostic applications. The emerging exosome biotech companies have a surprisingly diverse set of strategies which are shaping the medical and commercial future of the nascent exosome field.
Early diagnosis is crucial to surviving cancer. A very large collaborative study involving over 50 labs, lead by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, published in the latest issue of Cell, has identified 13 novel markers of cancer in small samples of patient’s blood.
In an age of alternative facts, where anything can be denied, vaccine’s are in the sights of conspiracy theorists. The indisputable fact is that, along with improved hygiene and nutrition, vaccines are one of the most effective tools to prevent disease saving an estimated 2-3 million lives per year. Thanks to vaccines, none of us have to live in fear of many terrible diseases. Here are some of the major achievements of vaccines over the decades.
Turning a readily available commodity into a scarce one is a neat trick. Stem cell scientists have long been able to convert one cell to another. For example, turning skin cells into dopaminergic neurons which could treat Parkinson's disease. However, these new cells also need to be in the right place. Relocation from in-vitro to in-vivo is a difficult journey which kills most cells.
Cells, like people, are a product of their genes and their environment. They respond to biological cues, such as growth factors, and they also respond to physical cues, such as shear stress produced by the flow of fluids. One of the most important physical factors for cells is the softness of their niche. This is determined by the localized composition of the extracellular matrix and physical attributes of their surrounding cells. The effect of getting softness right can be critical. Softness can direct cell differentiation, or maintain plenipotentiary and enhance proliferation. Just placing pluripotent cells on a soft surface reduces or possibly eliminates the need for growth factors
Exosomes are nanoscale lipid spheres secreted by cells. Each exosomes contain bits of the cell that produced it, packaged within the exosome and embedded in their walls. DNA, RNA and proteins are all carried. Study of this cargo material can reveal information about the status of cells that secrete them into blood and other body fluids.