Exosomes function as shuttles for transferring functional molecules such as proteins, liquids and nucleic acids between donor and recipient cells. These nano-sized (30–100 nm) tiny vesicles have recently attracted a tremendous amount of attention from the scientific community. Research on exosomes has expanded significantly, as is clearly shown by the number of publications for a search of “exosome or extracellular vesicle” at PubMed. More than 1800 articles have been published in 2016, compared to 500 published in 2010, reflecting the recent surge of interest in the field of exosomal biology.
As natural carriers of signal molecules, these tiny vesicles play crucial roles in the progression of several human diseases, including neurodegenerative disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases. In 2013, NIH launched the cross-institute Extracellular RNA Communication program to advance the field of exosomal RNA (exRNA) research and address collective scientific needs. The NIH Common Fund provides supports for 30 research projects and covers the entire spectrum of translational research from discovery to treatment. The program’s goals can be found here.
These collaborative efforts have enhanced our understanding of exosome biogenesis, communication and functions – especially the roles of exRNAs. ExRNA can act as a signaling molecule, communicating with other cells and carrying information from cell to cell throughout the body. There is no doubt we are at the era of discovering novel cell-free therapeutic and diagnostic biomarkers to deliver on the promise of individualized, patient-specific therapies for the future.
Whatever your research interest is – from basic research on exosome biology to translational research identifying circulating exosome biomarkers – every discovery starts with proper sample isolation! Given the small size and heterogeneity of exosomes, it is very challenging to isolate exosomes from blood plasma and other body fluids. In association with Exosome Diagnostics, QIAGEN has developed a fast and convenient spin-column extraction kit – the exoEasy Maxi Kit. In just 25 minutes, intact exosomes and other extracellular vesicles from plasma, serum and cell culture supernatant can be efficiently isolated!
We are offering a 4-part webinar series starting on April 3, to help you with your exosome research and explore the universe of exosomes. Register now!
Part 1: Exosome Research – Roles of Exosomes in Human Disease and Advanced Isolation Tools
April 3, 1 p.m. EST
In this webinar, we discuss the current understanding of exosome biogenesis, molecular phenotype and functional mechanisms. We will also summarize their crucial roles in the progression of several human diseases including neurodegenerative disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory diseases. Challenges of enriching and extracting exosomes and other microvesicles will be discussed and new solutions will be presented.
Part 2: Maximize Quantity and Purity of Exosomes and Exosomal RNA
April 10, 1 p.m. EST
This webinar introduces QIAGEN’s new solutions to help isolate and enrich exosomes and other extracellular vesicles, to allow the detection of low-abundance RNAs that are in circulation.
Part 3: Characterization of RNA from Extracellular Vesicles – Challenges and Solutions
April 17, 1 p.m. EST
This webinar presents an integrated system for identification and characterization of specific RNA molecules from exosomes and other extracellular vesicles (EVs). Advanced assay technologies for characterization of the RNA profiles including mRNA, microRNA and long non-coding RNAs (RNAs) from serum exosomes will be introduced and discussed.
Part 4: Understanding the Circulating Transcriptome of Cancer Exosomes with Advanced RNA-Seq Explorer Solution
April 24, 1 p.m. EST
Using QIAGEN Bioinformatics solutions with a publicly available dataset, this webinar provides a Sample to Insight example for transcriptome analysis of Kupffer cells after uptake of pancreatic cancer exosomes, which reveals pathways and biological processes involved in metastatic progression.
Schedule conflicts? No problem, register and you will receive a copy of the webinar slides and a recording link!