Int. J. Dev. Biol. In Press
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.210120nk
© UPV/EHU Press

Exosomes and the Extracellular Matrix: a dynamic interplay in cancer progression

Asimina Karampoga, Kyriaki Tzaferi, Christos Koutsakis, Konstantina Kyriakopoulou and Nikos K. Karamanos*

Biochemistry, Biochemical Analysis and Matrix Pathobiology Research Group, Laboratory ofBiochemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, Greece

ABSTRACT Exosomes are a subtype of extracellular vesicle (EVs) composed of a lipid bilayer which carry various cargoes such as nucleic acids, proteins, and bioactive lipids. Cancer cells release exosomes to promote cell communication and interaction with the extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM regulates the secretion and uptake of exosomes. Moreover, the cargo of exosomes can control ECM remodeling thus affecting cancer progression. Aside from the rearrangement of ECM, exosomal cargo also modulates different signaling pathways that maintain homeostasis and play a major role in tumor growth and immune evasion in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Exosomes are now widely recognized as circulating biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis. Their role in cancer initiation, progression, and chemoresistance is becoming increasingly clear from preclinical and clinical investigations, hence gaining interest for their potential use as cancer diagnostics tools, but also for the development of future innovative cancer therapeutics. In this mini review we outline and discuss the correlation between exosomes, TME and cancer progression, while focusing on the potential role of exosomes as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, as well as therapeutic vehicles for drug delivery.


exosomes, extracellular matrix, tumor microenvironment, cell communication, cancer

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