Extracellular vesicles in circulation
Laat, P.P.M. de
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Only recently have we learned that EVs are more than waste and cell debris. EVs are continuously present in the bloodstream, where they provide communication between cells and help to maintain homeostasis. Besides maintaining homeostasis they also play an important role in pathological states and the development of cancer. Here we discussed the most important and prevalent EVs in circulation. Evs from platelets, ECs, leukocytes and erythrocytes are always present and this should be taken in mind when developing experimental, diagnostic or therapeutic tests. Several important effects of EVs originating from these cell types are highlighted and their RNA content is discussed. Furthermore, target binding is elucidated and target modification is discussed. By fusing targeting proteins or pseudotyping, the binding of EVs to their target cells can be improved. These techniques can further improve the delivery of miRNAs/mRNAs or therapeutic proteins. All in all this upcoming research field is very promising in understanding the cancer microenvironment and can give rise to many breakthroughs in the field of diagnostics, gene silencing and drug delivery.