Special Issue "Membrane-Bound Mechanisms of Intercellular Communication in Healthy and Cancerous Tissues: Extracellular vesicles, Cytonemes and Tunneling Nanotubes"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Organelle Function".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Aurelio Lorico
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Medicine, Touro University Nevada, 874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson, NV 89014, USA
Interests: extracellular vesicle; nuclear transport; spathasome; cell-cell fusion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Denis Corbeil
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tissue Engineering Laboratories, Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) and Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB), Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Interests: CD133; extracellular vesicle; membrane polarity; microvillus; stem cell; tunneling nanotube
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Alessandro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli studi di Palermo, sezione di Biologia e Genetica, Palermo, Italy
Interests: cancer biology; exosomes; cancer cells; cell migration; cell adhesion; endothelial cells; cell biology; angiogenesis; signal transduction; cancer research; metastasis; tumor invasion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Germana Rappa
E-Mail
Guest Editor
College of Medicine, Touro University Nevada, 874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson, NV 89014, USA
Interests: breast cancer; melanoma; multidrug resistance; extracellular vesicles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For multicellular organisms to form and function, cells must communicate and interact with their neighbors in a specific and effective way. Similarly, for cancer to develop and spread locally and at a distance, intercellular communication is of paramount importance. If we could specifically interfere with intercellular communication in the cancer microenvironment, without disrupting communication between healthy cells in other parts of the body, we could consider developing new therapeutic strategies. To this end, it is essential to learn the molecular and biological mechanisms of intercellular communication in healthy and cancerous tissues. Intercellular communication mechanisms dependent on membrane structures have recently attracted attention, particularly with the burst of scientific literature in the field of extracellular membrane vesicles (EVs). The role of EVs as a vehicle-like device in intercellular communication appears to be an important multifaceted regulator of tumor progression. For example, EVs derived from cancer cells, generally released in greater numbers than those of normal proliferative cells, can modulate immune responses at different levels, transfer oncogenic proteins and nucleic acids, reprogram stromal cells, promote neo-angiogenesis, and transfer the drug-resistance phenotype. Despite the abundance of reports highlighting these EV-related events in cancer, there is little mechanistic knowledge of the intracellular pathways of EVs upon their internalization, the mechanism(s) of cargo release, and their molecular target(s) located in cytoplasm and nuclear compartment of host cells. Similarly, other membrane-bound structures, such as cytonemes and tunneling nanotubes, have become new biological mechanisms for disseminating biological information from one cell to another in a tissue. Such long, plasma membrane protrusions rich in F-actin that connect cells at short or long distances could be linked to the development of cancer.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide novel insight into the membrane-bound structures involved in intercellular communication, including EVs such as exosomes, microvesicles, and other extracellular membrane particles, as well as plasma membrane projections, including cytonemes and tunneling nanotubes. Colleagues working on these themes and developing new technological tools to study them are invited to submit research articles, reviews, communications, perspectives, and case reports that can improve the general knowledge of this exciting field.

Prof. Aurelio Lorico
Dr. Denis Corbeil
Prof. Riccardo Alessandro
Dr. Germana Rappa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • extracellular vesicles: microvesicles, exosomes, and other membrane particles
  • cytoneme and other plasma membrane projections
  • tunneling nanotubes

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Glycan Node Analysis of Plasma-Derived Extracellular Vesicles
Cells 2020, 9(9), 1946; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9091946 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
Blood plasma is a readily accessible source of extracellular vesicles (EVs), i.e., cell-secreted nanosized carriers that contain various biomolecules, including glycans. Previous studies have demonstrated that glycans play a major role in physiological and pathological processes, and certain plasma glycans have been associated [...] Read more.
Blood plasma is a readily accessible source of extracellular vesicles (EVs), i.e., cell-secreted nanosized carriers that contain various biomolecules, including glycans. Previous studies have demonstrated that glycans play a major role in physiological and pathological processes, and certain plasma glycans have been associated with disease conditions. However, glycome studies have been limited by a lack of analytical techniques with the throughput capacity necessary to study hundreds of clinical samples. This study is the first to characterize the EV plasma glycome based on all major glycan classes. The results based on glycan node analysis revealed, as expected, that plasma-derived EVs have distinct glycan features from donor-matched whole plasma. Specifically, glycan nodes corresponding to those observed in chondroitin sulfate, dermatan sulfate, type I keratan sulfate, and type II keratan sulfate were enriched on EVs. The identification of specific differences in glycan features in plasma vs. plasma-derived EVs is relevant for understanding the physiological role of EVs and as a reference for future diagnostic studies. Additionally, the results indicate that EV glycan nodes do not substantially differ among a small set of healthy donors. These results lay the framework for the further evaluation of all EV glycan classes as diagnostic markers, therapeutic targets, and biologically active components in health and disease. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Uptake and Fate of Extracellular Membrane Vesicles: Nucleoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Late Endosomes as a New Gate to Intercellular Communication
Cells 2020, 9(9), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9091931 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Extracellular membrane vesicles (EVs) are emerging as new vehicles in intercellular communication, but how the biological information contained in EVs is shared between cells remains elusive. Several mechanisms have been described to explain their release from donor cells and the initial step of [...] Read more.
Extracellular membrane vesicles (EVs) are emerging as new vehicles in intercellular communication, but how the biological information contained in EVs is shared between cells remains elusive. Several mechanisms have been described to explain their release from donor cells and the initial step of their uptake by recipient cells, which triggers a cellular response. Yet, the intracellular routes and subcellular fate of EV content upon internalization remain poorly characterized. This is particularly true for EV-associated proteins and nucleic acids that shuttle to the nucleus of host cells. In this review, we will describe and discuss the release of EVs from donor cells, their uptake by recipient cells, and the fate of their cargoes, focusing on a novel intracellular route wherein small GTPase Rab7+ late endosomes containing endocytosed EVs enter into nuclear envelope invaginations and deliver their cargo components to the nucleoplasm of recipient cells. A tripartite protein complex composed of (VAMP)-associated protein A (VAP-A), oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)-related protein-3 (ORP3), and Rab7 is essential for the transfer of EV-derived components to the nuclear compartment by orchestrating the particular localization of late endosomes in the nucleoplasmic reticulum. Full article
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