The miRCURY Exosome Kits utilize precipitation to enrich for exosomes and other extracellular vesicles. They are optimized to provide efficient isolation of exosomes from various biofluid samples, such as cell-conditioned media, urine, CSF, serum or plasma. The protocols are easy to use and take just two hours.
Although they are not species specific, the kit protocols are optimized for working with human biofluids. Refer to the miRCURY Exosome Kits Handbook
for recommended starting material for different sample types.
Why study exosomes?
Exosomes are cell-derived, membranous particles ranging in size from 20–120 nm, approximately the same size as viruses but considerably smaller than microvesicles (see figure The structure of an exosome
). Exosomes are excreted from cells into the surrounding media and can be found in many, if not all, body fluids. Their proposed role as intercellular hormone-like messengers, together with their stability as carrier of proteins and RNA, make them ideal as biomarkers for a variety of diseases and biological processes (see figure The hypothesis of exosomal shuttling of miRNAs
Exosomes are secreted by most cell types and are formed by the fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membrane. They are believed to be involved in a number of functions, including:
- Immune regulation (e.g., tumor-derived exosomes may help tumors evade the immune response)
- Blood coagulation
- Cell migration
- Cell differentiation
- Cell-to-cell communication
Microvesicles that are larger than exosomes (up to 1 µm) are typically formed by blebbing of the plasma membrane, whereas exosomes are released via exocytosis from multivesicular bodies of the endosome.