Article Abstract

Extracellular vesicles in hepatocellular cancer and cholangiocarcinoma

Authors: Feihu Xie, Shi Feng, Huayu Yang, Yilei Mao


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are subcellular components produced by a variety of cells, which are microscopic spherical particles containing specific lipids, RNA species, DNA and proteins (1). These small particles of 40 to 5,000 nm in diameter are released by several cells into the extracellular matrix. While they were previously considered as a means to discard cellular metabolic waste, recently emerging evidence suggest that they are essential players in cell-to-cell communication (2,3). Based on their cellular biogenesis and characteristics, EVs are classified into three categories: exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies.