As ubiquitous messengers, exosomes play a role in how our bodies manage energy. From adipocytes to the gut microbiome, new insights into how exosomes modulate human metabolism might be providing a glimpse into the future of metabolic disease treatment.
Both hormones and exosomes regulate physiological processes by transmitting signals to distant cells. Although clearly distinct, these two systems interact in complex and important ways.
Glycosylation is the addition of glycan groups to proteins. This affects about 50% of proteins, including exosomal proteins, modulating their function. This impacts and reflects states of health and disease. As well as characterizing exosome glycosylation states for diagnostic purposes, glycosylation control strategies for therapeutic applications are in development.
A major challenge of working with exosomes and other types of extracellular vesicles (EVs) is their characterization and agreeing parameters that define each group. Recently, this task has become even more challenging with a dawning realization that proteins (and nucleic acids) loosely associated with the surface of exosomes, once thought to be artefacts of purification, are functionally important.
The recent emergence of genetic therapies has focussed attention on exosomes as a possible mechanism for their efficient delivery. Exosomes provide an efficient, natural mechanism for transferring RNA into cells. Exosomes are also durable, have low levels of immunogenicity and can be produced economically at scale. The biggest hurdle to the widespread adoption of exosomes as delivery vehicles is their low cargo-loading efficiency.
Cell Guidance Systems is now offering a range of high-quality and well-characterized freeze-dried exosome samples from human cancer cell lines for research applications. These Instant exosomes are isolated using Exo-spin kits following a combination of precipitation and size exclusion chromatography (SEC).
In order to study lipids, they must often be extracted first from tissues or cellular cultures and then quantified. There are various methods available for lipid quantification, ranging from state-of-the-art quantification using advanced technology to simpler benchtop solutions. But which technique is relevant for you?
Anti-oxidants, omega-3, calcium and vitamins etc, have been linked to health benefits. Producers of foods containing these nutrients highlight these health-giving properties to promote sales. Might exosomes soon be added to the list? A growing understanding of the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) points to the remarkable potential of food-derived exosomes (FDEs) as a distinct dietary component with nutritional benefits.
Exosomes possess an exceptional ability to target specific cells and deliver a highly heterogenous cargo reflective of the type and physiological/pathological conditions of the cell that produced them. Both exosomes and interleukins are critical cellular messengers for the modulation of cellular functions. In recent years, the important role that interleukins within circulating exosomes play in disease and normal tissue homeostasis has become clear.
Many of the exosomes generated within the tumour microenvironment (TME) are not actually produced by cancer cells. Rather, they are produced by cancer-associated stromal cells and infiltrating immune cells. The role of exosomes generated by immune cells within the TME and their potential for therapeutic use is the focus of many research teams.