The role of exosomes contents on genetic and epigenetic alterations of recipient cancer cells

Document Type: Review Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Science, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

3 Applied Microbiology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Exosomes, as a mediator of cell-to-cell transfer of genetic information, act an important role in intercommunication between tumor cells and their niche including fibroblasts, endothelial cells, adipocytes and monocytes. Several studies have shown that tumor cells can influence their neighboring cells by releasing exosomes. These exosomes provide signaling cues for stimulation, activation, proliferation and differentiation of cells. Exosomes contain mRNAs, microRNAs (miRNA), and proteins that could be transferred to target cells inducing genetic and epigenetic changes. By facilitating the horizontal transfer of bioactive molecules such as proteins, RNAs and microRNAs, they are now thought to have vital roles in tumor invasion and metastases, inflammation, coagulation, and stem cell renewal and expansion. The aim of this review article is to discuss the significance of exosome-mediated intercellular communication within the tumor biology.


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