The potential of exosomes in diagnosis and treatment of inborn errors of metabolism
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- van Balkom, B.W.M., van Doorn, J., Verhoeven-Duif, N.M. et al. J Inherit Metab Dis (2014) 37: 497. doi:10.1007/s10545-014-9681-z
Extracellular vesicles, in particular exosomes, have gained much attention as potent mediators of intercellular signaling. Exosomes are 50–130 nm intraluminal vesicles of multivesicular bodies (MVB) that are secreted into the extracellular environment upon fusion of MVB with the plasma membrane. Current research on exosomes focuses on their biogenesis, including specific sorting mechanisms, their potential to transfer proteins and RNA from their cells of origin to target cells, specific methods of vesicle isolation, and their possible application as diagnostic and therapeutic devices. Exosomes are vesicles of endocytic origin that contain a portion of the cytoplasm. Their molecular components represent the composition and thereby the physiological state of the cells from which they originate. In this review, we recapitulate the discovery of exosomes and the subsequent expansion of exosome research into a variety of different areas of interest, with a specific focus on how exosomes could prove to be invaluable for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications within the research field of inborn errors of metabolism.