Tumor-derived exosomes in colorectal cancer progression and their clinical applications
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Jianbiao Zhou1,2,*, Xiao-Lan Li3,*, Zhi-Rong Chen3 and Wee-Joo Chng1,2,4
1Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Centre for Translational Medicine, Singapore 117599, Republic of Singapore
2Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Republic of Singapore
3Department of Gastroenterology, Suzhou Municipal Hospital (Eastern), Suzhou Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou, 215001, China
4Department of Hematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS), The National University Health System (NUHS), Singapore 119228, Republic of Singapore
*These authors contributed equally to this work and share co-first authors
Wee-Joo Chng, email: [email protected]
Zhi-Rong Chen, email: [email protected]
Keywords: exosomes, colorectal cancer (CRC), biomarker, cancer therapy, microRNA (miRNA)
Received: April 20, 2017 Accepted: July 30, 2017 Published: August 10, 2017
Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as the third leading cause of cancer mortality in both of men and women worldwide due to its metastatic properties and resistance to current treatment. Recent studies have shown that tumor-derived exosomes play emerging roles in the development of cancer. Exosomes are nano-sized extracellular vesicles (EVs) that contain lipids, proteins, DNAs, and RNA species (mRNA, miRNA, long non-coding RNA). These exosomal cargos can be transferred locally and systemically, after taken by recipient cells, so exosomes represent a new form of intercellular communication. There is increasing evidence demonstrating that exosomes control a wide range of pathways bolstering tumor development, metastasis and drug resistance. This review provides an in-depth and timely summary of the role of exosomes in CRC. We first describe the common features and biogenesis of exosomes. We then highlight important findings that support the emerging roles of exosomes in CRC cell growth, invasion and metastasis, as well as resistance to treatment. Finally, we discuss the clinical application of exosomes as diagnostic biomarkers, in vivo drug delivery system and the potential of novel exosome-based immunotherapy for CRC.
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