About this Research Topic
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) define the structures, surrounded by a typical bilayered lipid membrane bearing integral proteins, which are capable of carrying diverse cargo outside the cell to distant sites. Although EVs have a diameter of 20 – 1000 nm, they can traverse both the plasma membrane and the fungal/bacterial cell wall. In microorganisms, EVs carry protein, glycoprotein, mRNA, and small RNA species, as mammalian EVs do, but also carbohydrate and melanin. The EV types are defined by their origin, i.e., they can be exosomes, when derived from multivesicular bodies, microvesicles/ectosomes/microparticles, when derived from cell membrane budding or invagination, and apoptotic bodies.
The field of EVs research has expanded enormously in the past decade due to the roles these structures can play in mammalian cells, particularly in cancer. EVs can mediate intercellular communication through distant signaling both in physiological processes and pathological progression. Intracellular molecules that are internalized during vesiculogenesis can safely travel long distances and deliver cell-free messages that can change the route of an inflammation or an infectious process through manipulation of the immune system. The study of EVs opens a whole new world of possibilities to understand the interplay between cells, but there are still many questions to be answered in the field, especially when it comes to microorganism EVs.
This Research Topics on Extracellular Vesicles Exported by Microorganisms encourages submissions of original articles or reviews covering all aspects related to these structures. We will be happy to send for review those manuscripts that focus on EVs from bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses; prion-associated EVs involving microorganism hosts are also welcome. Subjects of special interest are the functional roles of EVs in cell-cell signaling and pathogenesis, vesiculogenesis, export mechanisms in microorganisms bearing a cell wall, characterization of EV subpopulations, variations in EV contents and morphology following specific culture conditions, EV markers, vaccination, EVs interaction with host cells and others.
Keywords: Extracellular vesicles, non-conventional secretion mechanism, signaling, microorganisms, viruses
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