Exosomes: Mediators of cellular communication in potentially malignant oral lesions and head and neck cancers

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Exosomes are a unique type of extracellular vesicles that contain a plethora of biological cargo such as miRNA, mRNA, long non-coding RNA, DNA, proteins and lipids. Exosomes serve as very effective means of intercellular communication. Due the presence of a lipid bilayer membrane, exosomes are resistant to degradation and are highly stable. This makes them easily identifiable in blood and other bodily fluids such as saliva. The exosomes that are secreted from a parent cell directly release their contents into the cytoplasm of a recipient cell and influence their cellular activity and function. Exosomes can also transfer their content between cancer cells and normal cells and regulate the tumor microenvironment. Exosomes play a vital role in tumor growth, tumor invasion and metastasis. Exosomes provide a multitude of molecular and genetic information and have become valuable indicators of disease activity at the cellular level. This review explores the molecular characteristics of exosomes and the role that exosomes play in the tumorigenesis pathway of potentially malignant oral lesions and head and neck cancers The application of exosomes in the treatment of oral cancers is also envisioned. Exosomes are very small and can easily pass through various biological barriers, making them very good delivery vectors for therapeutic drugs as well as to selectively induce DNA’s mRNA and miRNAs into targeted cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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