Membrane vesicles, current state-of-the-art: Emerging role of extracellular vesicles

Bence György, Tamás G. Szabó, Mária Pásztói, Zsuzsanna Pál, Petra Misják, Borbála Aradi, Valéria László, Éva Pállinger, Erna Pap, Ágnes Kittel, György Nagy, András Falus, Edit I. Buzás

Research output: Review article

1002 Citations (Scopus)


Release of membrane vesicles, a process conserved in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, represents an evolutionary link, and suggests essential functions of a dynamic extracellular vesicular compartment (including exosomes, microparticles or microvesicles and apoptotic bodies). Compelling evidence supports the significance of this compartment in a broad range of physiological and pathological processes. However, classification of membrane vesicles, protocols of their isolation and detection, molecular details of vesicular release, clearance and biological functions are still under intense investigation. Here, we give a comprehensive overview of extracellular vesicles. After discussing the technical pitfalls and potential artifacts of the rapidly emerging field, we compare results from meta-analyses of published proteomic studies on membrane vesicles. We also summarize clinical implications of membrane vesicles. Lessons from this compartment challenge current paradigms concerning the mechanisms of intercellular communication and immune regulation. Furthermore, its clinical implementation may open new perspectives in translational medicine both in diagnostics and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2667-2688
Number of pages22
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - aug. 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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