Itinerant exosomes: emerging roles in cell and tissue polarity.

PubMed ID: 18396047

Author(s): Lakkaraju A, Rodriguez-Boulan E. Itinerant exosomes: emerging roles in cell and tissue polarity. Trends Cell Biol. 2008 May;18(5):199-209. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 Apr 7. Review. PMID 18396047

Journal: Trends In Cell Biology, Volume 18, Issue 5, May 2008

Cells use secreted signals (e.g. chemokines and growth factors) and sophisticated vehicles such as argosomes, cytonemes, tunneling nanotubes and exosomes to relay important information to other cells, often over large distances. Exosomes, 30-100-nm intraluminal vesicles of multivesicular bodies (MVB) released upon exocytic fusion of the MVB with the plasma membrane, are increasingly recognized as a novel mode of cell-independent communication. Exosomes have been shown to function in antigen presentation and tumor metastasis, and in transmitting infectious agents. However, little is known about the biogenesis and function of exosomes in polarized cells. In this review, we discuss new evidence suggesting that exosomes participate in the transport of morphogens and RNA, and thus influence cell polarity and developmental patterning of tissues.