Researchers discover new way to form extracellular vesicles

Nov 17, 2011

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered a protein called TAT-5 that affects the production of extracellular vesicles, small sacs of membrane released from the surface of cells, capable of sending signals to other cells. When released extracellular vesicles can affect tumor spread, blood clotting and inflammation. Their discovery gives new insight into how extracellular vesicles form, and reveals new potential strategies to manipulate diseases such as cancer.

The study was published online November 17, 2011 in .

"Very little is known about how cells release extracellular vesicles from their surfaces, so the discovery of TAT-5 opens the door to learning how to manipulate their numbers and thus affect ," said Jeremy Nance, PhD, associate professor of Cell Biology at NYU School of Medicine and a member of the Developmental Genetics Program at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine.

Researchers at NYU Langone studied the embryo of the worm C. elegans and discovered that TAT-5 inhibits the budding of extracellular vesicles from the surface of cells. Several types of tumors produce extracellular vesicles that can induce tumor or metastasis. Researchers found they can use tat-5 mutants as a tool to study how extracellular vesicles are formed, enabling the design of strategies to regulate their formation. In the study, researchers also discovered that two proteins that regulate viral budding are involved in extracellular vesicle release, suggesting that budding of viruses and release of extracellular vesicles might occur through similar mechanisms, and that this research may reveal new strategies to inhibit viral spread.

Explore further: Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New insight in nerve cell communication

Dec 22, 2009

Communication between nerve cells is vital for our bodies to function. Part of this communication happens through vesicles containing signalling molecules called neurotransmitters. The vesicle fuses with the ...

How protein receptors on cells switch on and off

Jan 16, 2009

Cornell researchers have provided new insight into the molecular mechanism underlying an essential cellular system. They have discovered how receptors on cell surfaces turn off signals from the cell's environment, ...

Skywalker ensures optimal communication between neurons

Apr 01, 2011

Patrik Verstreken (VIB/K.U.Leuven, Belgium) has discovered the mechanism that ensures neurons can continue to send the right signals for long consecutive periods - a process that is disrupted in neurological diseases such ...

Recommended for you

Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

55 minutes ago

A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on ...

'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained

14 hours ago

Research led by the Teichmann group on the Wellcome Genome Campus has identified a fundamental mechanism for controlling protein function. Published in the journal Science, the discovery has wide-ranging implications for bi ...

Discovery in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria

16 hours ago

For four years, researchers at Universite catholique de Louvain have been trying to find out how bacteria can withstand antibiotics, so as to be able to attack them more effectively. These researchers now understand how one ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.