Exosomes: Nanoparticulate tools for RNA interference and drug delivery

Fahimeh Shahabipour, Nastaran Barati, Thomas P. Johnston, Giuseppe Derosa, Pamela Maffioli, Amirhossein Sahebkar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Exosomes are naturally occurring extracellular vesicles released by most mammalian cells in all body fluids. Exosomes are known as key mediators in cell-cell communication and facilitate the transfer of genetic and biochemical information between distant cells. Structurally, exosomes are composed of lipids, proteins, and also several types of RNAs which enable these vesicles to serve as important disease biomarkers. Moreover, exosomes have emerged as novel drug and gene delivery tools owing to their multiple advantages over conventional delivery systems. Recently, increasing attention has been focused on exosomes for the delivery of drugs, including therapeutic recombinant proteins, to various target tissues. Exosomes are also promising vehicles for the delivery of microRNAs and small interfering RNAs, which is usually hampered by rapid degradation of these RNAs, as well as inefficient tissue specificity of currently available delivery strategies. This review highlights the most recent accomplishments and trends in the use of exosomes for the delivery of drugs and therapeutic RNA molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1660-1668
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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