Research Topic

Exosomes and Exosomal miRNAs as Biomarkers in Infection with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

About this Research Topic

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most lethal global infectious diseases. Despite the availability of great diagnosis and treatment technology in health and medicine, tuberculosis still remains a serious global health problem. The available laboratory tests are not useful to discriminate between active and latent TB infection (LTBI). Moreover, these tests cannot be used to monitor the individual with LTBI. There still remains challenge to predict whether an individual with LTBI will develop active tuberculosis (TB) or whether therapy for LTBI could decrease the risk of developing active TB. Thus, we need new methods for diagnosis of LTBI and finding ways for treatments as well.
microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that fine-tune complex biological processes by regulation of the key proteins in molecular signaling networks and have determinant roles in the outcome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Mtb subverts the host miRNA network to modulate host cell signaling pathways for favoring intracellular survival. The TB dysregulated host miRNAs may be shuttled across the cells membranous organelles such as exosomes. Exosomes are bioactive 30–100 nm vesicles produced by most cell types and contain a complex cargo of biomolecules from the original cell. They mediate crosstalk with adjacent or distant cells acting via autocrine and paracrine signaling. Circulating exosomes are highly stable in biological fluids and therefore provide a great deal of information about the physiological and pathological status of the originating cell. These properties have fulfilled their promise as diagnostic biomarkers, enabling noninvasive clinical diagnosis.

Several recent researches have shown the importance of exosomes and exosomal miRNAs in the fate of TB. Mtb infection leads to host immune and metabolic repatterning which enables Mtb to perturb autophagy and apoptosis of infected cells and maintain their nutritional and energy requirements.
This process involves modulation of host miRNAs that control the regulatory networks associated with cell metabolism and immunity in the infected cells.
It has been shown the amount and composition of miRNAs packaged into exosomes (exosomal miRNAs) are different in infected versus uninfected macrophages, and also in the serum exosomes from the TB patients versus healthy subjects. This data supports the potential of exosomal miRNAs in diagnosis and monitoring of tuberculosis. Due to the limited accuracy of the current TB diagnostic tests and urgent need for the novel biomarkers; circulating and/or exosomal miRNAs may offer new opportunity in this context.
Current knowledge on these topics will benefit the scientific community to survey the potential of miRNAs and exosomes in TB diagnosis. In addition, this Research Topic can improve our understanding of the mechanisms of miRNAs and exosomes function in the pathology of tuberculosis as well as the challenges translation of miRNAs- and exosome-based diagnosis methods to clinical setting.

For this Research Topic, we welcome authors to submit original/review articles that provide novel insights into the field of the role of exosomes and miRNAs as disease biomarkers and their importance in the pathophysiology of tuberculosis; including but not limited to:
-Utilization of exosomes and miRNAs as potential biomarkers in differentiation and diagnosis of LTBI and TB.
- The mechanisms of action for miRNAs and exosomes in the development of the pathological conditions or the mechanism underlying the pathology of TB/LTB.
We also encourage authors to submit review articles highlighting recent findings/advancements in the above-discussed areas.


Keywords: miRNAs, exosomes, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, TB


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most lethal global infectious diseases. Despite the availability of great diagnosis and treatment technology in health and medicine, tuberculosis still remains a serious global health problem. The available laboratory tests are not useful to discriminate between active and latent TB infection (LTBI). Moreover, these tests cannot be used to monitor the individual with LTBI. There still remains challenge to predict whether an individual with LTBI will develop active tuberculosis (TB) or whether therapy for LTBI could decrease the risk of developing active TB. Thus, we need new methods for diagnosis of LTBI and finding ways for treatments as well.
microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that fine-tune complex biological processes by regulation of the key proteins in molecular signaling networks and have determinant roles in the outcome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Mtb subverts the host miRNA network to modulate host cell signaling pathways for favoring intracellular survival. The TB dysregulated host miRNAs may be shuttled across the cells membranous organelles such as exosomes. Exosomes are bioactive 30–100 nm vesicles produced by most cell types and contain a complex cargo of biomolecules from the original cell. They mediate crosstalk with adjacent or distant cells acting via autocrine and paracrine signaling. Circulating exosomes are highly stable in biological fluids and therefore provide a great deal of information about the physiological and pathological status of the originating cell. These properties have fulfilled their promise as diagnostic biomarkers, enabling noninvasive clinical diagnosis.

Several recent researches have shown the importance of exosomes and exosomal miRNAs in the fate of TB. Mtb infection leads to host immune and metabolic repatterning which enables Mtb to perturb autophagy and apoptosis of infected cells and maintain their nutritional and energy requirements.
This process involves modulation of host miRNAs that control the regulatory networks associated with cell metabolism and immunity in the infected cells.
It has been shown the amount and composition of miRNAs packaged into exosomes (exosomal miRNAs) are different in infected versus uninfected macrophages, and also in the serum exosomes from the TB patients versus healthy subjects. This data supports the potential of exosomal miRNAs in diagnosis and monitoring of tuberculosis. Due to the limited accuracy of the current TB diagnostic tests and urgent need for the novel biomarkers; circulating and/or exosomal miRNAs may offer new opportunity in this context.
Current knowledge on these topics will benefit the scientific community to survey the potential of miRNAs and exosomes in TB diagnosis. In addition, this Research Topic can improve our understanding of the mechanisms of miRNAs and exosomes function in the pathology of tuberculosis as well as the challenges translation of miRNAs- and exosome-based diagnosis methods to clinical setting.

For this Research Topic, we welcome authors to submit original/review articles that provide novel insights into the field of the role of exosomes and miRNAs as disease biomarkers and their importance in the pathophysiology of tuberculosis; including but not limited to:
-Utilization of exosomes and miRNAs as potential biomarkers in differentiation and diagnosis of LTBI and TB.
- The mechanisms of action for miRNAs and exosomes in the development of the pathological conditions or the mechanism underlying the pathology of TB/LTB.
We also encourage authors to submit review articles highlighting recent findings/advancements in the above-discussed areas.


Keywords: miRNAs, exosomes, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, TB


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

20 November 2021 Abstract
20 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 November 2021 Abstract
20 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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