Researchers Reveal a Map to Study Novel Form of Cell-To-Cell Communication
Published:18 May2023    Source:Baylor College of Medicine
An international team has developed a new powerful resource to study extracellular RNA (exRNA), a novel form of cell-to-cell communication. The study, published in the journal Cell Genomics, lays the foundation to examine how exRNA and its carrier proteins found in bodily fluids function in a healthy as well as a diseased setting, potentially providing a means to accurately implement early detection and monitor disease processes.
In recent years research has shown that RNA not only exists inside cells, but also is exported from cells as extracellular RNA and plays a role in cell-to-cell communication. “ExRNAs exist in bodily fluids outside of cells where they can associate with a variety of carriers including RNA binding proteins (RBPs), but the cargo and distribution of RBPs across biofluids is largely unknown, said coauthor Robert Fullem. Our goal in this study was to fill that gap. This major gap in knowledge limited our understanding of the role of RBPs as carriers of exRNA in human bodily fluids. Our findings open a new road toward understanding exRNA biology and provide new opportunities for the development of exRBP/exRNA liquid biopsy biomarkers."
With this information, they developed a map of candidate exRBPs and their exRNA cargo in bodily fluids expanding the landscape of potential biomarkers that can now be studied in liquid biopsies and used to track normal and disease processes. And they present this map as a resource available at no cost to the scientific community.