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Oct 2015 Biology of the cell

Syntenin and syndecan in the biogenesis of exosomes.


Friand V, David G, Zimmermann P


Cells communicate with their environment in various ways, including by secreting vesicles. Secreted vesicles are loaded with proteins, lipids and RNAs that compose ‘a signature’ of the cell of origin and potentially can reprogram recipient cells. Secreted vesicles recently gained in interest for medicine. They represent potential sources of biomarkers that can be collected from body fluids and, by disseminating pathogenic proteins, might also participate in systemic diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis and neurodegeneration. The mechanisms controlling the biogenesis and the uptake of secreted vesicles are poorly understood. Some of these vesicles originate from endosomes and are called ‘exosomes’. In this review, we recapitulate recent insight on the role of the syndecan (SDC) heparan sulphate proteoglycans, the small intracellular adaptor syntenin and associated regulators in the biogenesis and loading of exosomes with cargo. SDC-syntenin-associated regulators include the endosomal sorting complex required for transport accessory component ALG-2-interacting protein X, the small GTPase adenosine 5′-diphosphate-ribosylation factor 6, the lipid-modifying enzyme phospholipase D2 and the endoglycosidase heparanase. All these molecules appear to support the budding of SDC-syntenin and associated cargo into the lumen of endosomes. This highlights a major mechanism for the formation of intraluminal vesicles that will be released as exosomes.

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