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Tunneling Nanotube-Mediated Communication: A Mechanism of Intercellular Nucleic Acid Transfer

Departments of Transplantation and Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefano Leporatti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105487
Received: 29 March 2022 / Revised: 9 May 2022 / Accepted: 12 May 2022 / Published: 14 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are thin, F-actin-based membranous protrusions that connect distant cells and can provide e a novel mechanism for intercellular communication. By establishing cytoplasmic continuity between interconnected cells, TNTs enable the bidirectional transfer of nuclear and cytoplasmic cargo, including organelles, nucleic acids, drugs, and pathogenic molecules. TNT-mediated nucleic acid transfer provides a unique opportunity for donor cells to directly alter the genome, transcriptome, and metabolome of recipient cells. TNTs have been reported to transport DNA, mitochondrial DNA, mRNA, viral RNA, and non-coding RNAs, such as miRNA and siRNA. This mechanism of transfer is observed in physiological as well as pathological conditions, and has been implicated in the progression of disease. Herein, we provide a concise overview of TNTs’ structure, mechanisms of biogenesis, and the functional effects of TNT-mediated intercellular transfer of nucleic acid cargo. Furthermore, we highlight the potential translational applications of TNT-mediated nucleic acid transfer in cancer, immunity, and neurological diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: tunneling nanotubes; nucleic acid transfer; intercellular communication tunneling nanotubes; nucleic acid transfer; intercellular communication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Driscoll, J.; Gondaliya, P.; Patel, T. Tunneling Nanotube-Mediated Communication: A Mechanism of Intercellular Nucleic Acid Transfer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 5487. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105487

AMA Style

Driscoll J, Gondaliya P, Patel T. Tunneling Nanotube-Mediated Communication: A Mechanism of Intercellular Nucleic Acid Transfer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022; 23(10):5487. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105487

Chicago/Turabian Style

Driscoll, Julia, Piyush Gondaliya, and Tushar Patel. 2022. "Tunneling Nanotube-Mediated Communication: A Mechanism of Intercellular Nucleic Acid Transfer" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23, no. 10: 5487. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105487

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