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Table 2 Exosome composition and roles of main components

From: The exosome journey: from biogenesis to uptake and intracellular signalling

Exosome composition
Category Examples Role References
Tetraspanins CD9, CD63, CD37, CD81, CD82, CD53 Exosome biogenesis, exosome cargo selection, targeting and uptake [107, 187]
ESCRT machinery/MVB biogenesis Alix, TSG-101 Exosome biogenesis [49, 107]
Heat Shock Proteins (Hsp) Hsp90, Hsc70, Hsp60, Hsp20, Hsp27 Exosomes release, signalling [188,189,190]
Membrane transport and fusion GTPases, Annexins, Flotillin, Rab GTPases, dynamin, syntaxin Exosome secretion and uptake [16, 66, 73, 140]
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules MHC Class I, MHC Class II Antigen presentation to generate immunological response [191, 192]
Cytoskeletal proteins Actin, Cofilin, Tubulin Exosome biogenesis and secretion [16, 19, 30]
Adhesion Integrin-α,-β, P-selectin Exosome targeting and uptake [16, 19]
Glycoproteins β-galactosidase, O-linked glycans, N-linked glycans Exosomes targeting and uptake [193, 194]
Growth factors and cytokine TNF-α, TGF-β, TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) Exosome targeting and uptake, signalling [116, 162]
Other signalling receptors Fas ligand (FasL), TNF receptor, Transferrin receptor (TfR) Exosome targeting and signalling including apoptosis induction and iron transport [16, 36, 116]
Category Role References
Cholesterol Exosome secretion [195, 196]
Ceramides Cargo sorting and exosome secretion [54, 197]
Sphingomyelin Exosome rigidity and signalling [111, 197]
Phosphatidylserine Exosome formation, signalling and uptake [32, 196, 198]
Phosphatidylcholine Exosome formation and structure
Phosphatidylethanolamine Exosome formation and structure
Phosphatidylinositol Exosome formation and structure
Gangliosides Exosome rigidity