Bioinformatics Tools for Extracellular Vesicles Research

  • Shivakumar Keerthikumar
  • Lahiru Gangoda
  • Yong Song Gho
  • Suresh MathivananEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1545)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a class of membranous vesicles that are released by multiple cell types into the extracellular environment. This unique class of extracellular organelles which play pivotal role in intercellular communication are conserved across prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Depending upon the cell origin and the functional state, the molecular cargo including proteins, lipids, and RNA within the EVs are modulated. Owing to this, EVs are considered as a subrepertoire of the host cell and are rich reservoirs of disease biomarkers. In addition, the availability of EVs in multiple bodily fluids including blood has created significant interest in biomarker and signaling research. With the advancement in high-throughput techniques, multiple EV studies have embarked on profiling the molecular cargo. To benefit the scientific community, existing free Web-based resources including ExoCarta, EVpedia, and Vesiclepedia catalog multiple datasets. These resources aid in elucidating molecular mechanism and pathophysiology underlying different disease conditions from which EVs are isolated. Here, the existing bioinformatics tools to perform integrated analysis to identify key functional components in the EV datasets are discussed.

Key words

Exosomes Ectosomes Bioinformatics Extracellular vesicles Microvesicles 



This work was supported by the Australian NH&MRC fellowship (1016599) and Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP130100535) to S.M. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shivakumar Keerthikumar
    • 1
  • Lahiru Gangoda
    • 1
  • Yong Song Gho
    • 2
  • Suresh Mathivanan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Genetics, La Trobe Institute for Molecular ScienceLa Trobe UniversityBundoora, MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Life SciencesPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangRepublic of Korea

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