Project Leader: Stephen Gould The biogenesis and intercellular transfer of functional, extracellular RNA (exRNA) is being detected in an ever-increasing array of biological systems. Intercellular traffic of exRNA plays important roles in human health and disease, and exRNA-mediated systems for disease detection, monitoring, and therapy have a high yet currently untapped potential. However, the molecular mechanisms that cells use to generate exRNAs are only poorly understood, and there is virtually nothing known about the mechanisms of exRNA uptake by human cells. This proposal will advance our mechanistic understanding of exRNA biogenesis and uptake using a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) model system that focuses on the production of exRNAs by GBM cells, and their uptake by surrounding somatic cell types such as astrocytes, microglia, and brain endothelial cells. The successful completion of this proposal will shed light on the mechanisms of intercellular RNA trafficking, test the scope and limitations of these mechanisms, and generate technologies for the engineered production and uptake of exRNA in human and rodent cell systems.
This proposal will advance our understanding of how genetic information can be transferred from one cell to another. It will also explore the relevance of this process to cancer biology, and brain tumors in particular.
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