Novel Type of Large EVs Containing Lipid Droplets and Mitochondria Is Released During Melanoma Cell Division

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, and its incidence is increasing worldwide. It develops from melanin-producing cells known as melanocytes and typically occurs in the skin, but may on rare occasions occur in the mouth, intestines, or eye (uveal melanoma). Because metastatic melanoma is highly aggressive, much research has been directed towards understanding its cellular biology. Cellular processes that can be targeted to diagnose or limit the propagation of melanoma cells have the potential for therapeutic intervention and the possibility of extracellular vesicles (EVs) being involved opens new possibilities for intervention. It has previously been shown that certain metastatic melanoma cells release small (< 150 nm) EVs classified as exosomes and ectosomes that contain cancer biomarkers. While EVs play important roles in intercellular communication, little else is known about the EVs produced by melanoma cells and the effects they might have on the tumor microenvironment.
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