Extracellular RNA communication.
Recent evidence from multiple sources indicates that many RNA species present in bodily fluids and cell culture medium may have biological and physiological functionality.
However, we know little on the regulation of how cells secrete their RNA molecules. We are interested in studying the basic mechanisms of exRNA biogenesis and how specific RNA molecules serve as a communication system between cells.
Extracellular RNAs are protected from degrading enzymes by being encapsulated in vesicles or cloaked in various protein complexes. The mechanistic details on how specific RNAs are loaded up into vesicles or protein complexes remain obscure. Our laboratory has several projects that are designed to shed light on those details.