Exosomal Transmission of Viral Resistance in Hepatitis B, Nature Immunology Reveals

Published: Jul 10, 2013

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To move material in bulk, the standard shipping container used by cells, is the vesicle. These approximately 40-micron sized spheres are essentially recyclable grocery bags that can be loaded and adorned with a huge variety of molecules. Exosomes are a particular kind of vesicle that get released when structures known as multivesicular bodies (MSVs) fuse with the plasma membrane. They can potentially be used for diagnostics and perhaps as treatment for many kinds of disease. A paper published in Nature Immunology, has recently shown that exosomes may have a natural function acting against the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The Chinese authors on the paper have demonstrated that cell-to-cell transmission of the natural antiviral agent, type 1 Interferon (IFN), is mediated by exosomes.

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