The roles of tumor-derived exosomes in cancer pathogenesis

PMID: 22190973
Journal: Clinical & developmental immunology (volume: 2011, issue: , Clin. Dev. Immunol. 2011;2011:842849)
Published: 2011-11-30

Yang C, Robbins PD


Exosomes are endosome-derived, 30-100 nm small membrane vesicles released by most cell types including tumor cells. They are enriched in a selective repertoire of proteins and nucleic acids from parental cells and are thought to be actively involved in conferring intercellular signals. Tumor-derived exosomes have been viewed as a source of tumor antigens that can be used to induce antitumor immune responses. However, tumor-derived exosomes also have been found to possess immunosuppressive properties and are able to facilitate tumor growth, metastasis, and the development of drug resistance. These different effects of tumor-derived exosomes contribute to the pathogenesis of cancer. This review will discuss the roles of tumor-derived exosomes in cancer pathogenesis, therapy, and diagnostics.