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Study of intracellular biogenesis and tissue bio-distribution of exosomes for the development of new therapeutic agents

17th national competition for scientific and technical research

Exosomes: intercellular communication as a therapeutic weapon

Senior Researcher : Juan Manuel Falcón Pérez

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Research Centre or Institution : Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biociencias (CIC bioGUNE)


Exosomes are small vesicles that the majority of the cells in the organism secrete into the extra-cellular medium. In recent years different research has shown that these vesicles are involved in intercellular communication processes, and they have been linked to the development and progression of different diseases. These vesicles have also given rise to great expectations as the basis for the development of new therapeutic tools. In collaboration with Dr. Isabel Guerrero (CBMSO) and Dr. Niels Reichardt (CICbioMAGUNE) the aim of this project is to define exosome specificity and understand their mechanism of action in receptor cells, as well as to identify the proteins involved in their biogenesis. This project will include study of the tissue distribution of exosomes secreted by different cell types, as well as characterisation of the glycosylation pattern and alteration of the latter as a strategy to generate exosomes with specificity for a set tissue. Additionally, the effect of exosomes on target cells will be studied in this project, with the aim of identifying possible side effects of therapeutic agents developed using exosomes. This project will offer answers to questions relating to specificity, manipulation and side effects of the use of these vesicles; all of these are fundamental in the creation of safe and effective therapeutic tools based on exosomes.


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