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      The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

      The Journal of clinical investigation

      American Society for Clinical Investigation

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          Abstract

          Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40-150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathways in cells they fuse or interact with. Exosomes are detected in the tumor microenvironment, and emerging evidence suggests that they play a role in facilitating tumorigenesis by regulating angiogenesis, immunity, and metastasis. Circulating exosomes can be used as liquid biopsies and noninvasive biomarkers for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer patients.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J. Clin. Invest.
          The Journal of clinical investigation
          American Society for Clinical Investigation
          1558-8238
          0021-9738
          Apr 01 2016
          : 126
          : 4
          Article
          81135
          10.1172/JCI81135
          4811149
          27035812

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