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The Influence of Ionizing Radiation on Exosome Composition, Secretion and Intercellular Communication

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 7 ]


Karol Jelonek, Piotr Widlak and Monika Pietrowska   Pages 656 - 663 ( 8 )


A large variety of vesicles is actively secreted into the extracellular space by most type of cells. The smallest nanoparticles (30-120 nm), called exosomes, are known to transport their cargo (nucleic acids, proteins and lipids) between diverse locations in the body. Specific content of exosomes and their influence on recipient cells depends primarily on the type of the secretory (donor) cell, yet several studies highlight the importance of environmental stress on which the donor cells are exposed. Ionizing radiation, which induces damage to DNA and other structures of a target cell, is one of well-recognized stress conditions influencing behavior of affected cells. A few recent studies have evidenced radiationinduced changes in composition of exosomes released from irradiated cells and their involvement in radiation-related communication between cells. Inducible pathways of exosome secretion activated in irradiated cells are regulated by TSAP6 protein (the transmembrane protein tumor suppressor-activated pathway 6), which is transcriptionally regulated by p53, hence cellular status of this major DNA damage response factor affects composition and secretion rate of exosomes released from target cells. Moreover, exosomes released from irradiated cells have been shown to mediate the radiation-induced bystander effect. Understanding radiation-related mechanisms involved in exosome formation and “makeup” of their cargo would shed light on the role of exosomes in systemic response of cells, tissues and organisms to ionizing radiation which may open new perspectives in translational medicine and anticancer-treatment.


Exosome, ionizing radiation, intercellular communication, bystander effect.


Center for Translational Research and Molecular Biology of Cancer, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Wybrzeze Armii Krajowej 15, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland.

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