Applications and Biological Functions of Exosomes: A Comprehensive Review

Extracellular Vesicles

Kowsalya, N., S. Meenakshi, M. P. Gowrav, D. V. Gowda, and K. Divith. 2021. “Applications and Biological Functions of Exosomes: A Comprehensive Review.” Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, December, 244–61.

Exosomes are also known as extracellular vesicles (EVs) which is bounded by a membrane mostly seen in eukaryotic cells secreted within the endosomal compartment along with some of the selected composition of RNA, proteins, lipids and DNA. They are capable of transferring signals among cells therefore it is used as a mediator for cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes helps in the excretion of cellular waste from the body. Exosomes possess various widespread activity in many of the biological functions such as transferring the biomolecules like enzymes, proteins, ribonucleic acid, lipids and also in the regulation of various pathological and physiological process in various diseases. Exosomes are released in to the in vitro growth medium with the help of cultured cells. They are said to be identified in coined matrix and tissue matrix. They are also identified in some of the biological fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid, urine, blood. Exosomes are considered as promising biomarkers in identification and treatment of many diseases as they contribute a lot in the diagnosis of various therapies. The efficacy and stability of imaging probes and therapeutics are enhanced by its biocompatible nature. Exosomes play a major role because of their use in the field of clinical application. It is important to understand the molecular mechanism behind their function and transport in order to explore more about exosomes. Here we discuss about the review and advancement done in the field of exosomes along with their biomedical applications, isolation techniques and biological functions.

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Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

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