Unit

UNIT 3.22 Isolation and Characterization of Exosomes from Cell Culture Supernatants and Biological Fluids

  1. Clotilde Théry1,
  2. Sebastian Amigorena1,
  3. Graça Raposo1,
  4. Aled Clayton2

Published Online: 1 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471143030.cb0322s30

Current Protocols in Cell Biology

Current Protocols in Cell Biology

How to Cite

Théry, C., Amigorena, S., Raposo, G. and Clayton, A. 2006. Isolation and Characterization of Exosomes from Cell Culture Supernatants and Biological Fluids. Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 30:3.22:3.22.1–3.22.29.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institut Curie, Paris, France

  2. 2

    Cardiff University, Whitchurch, Cardiff, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 APR 2006
  2. Published Print: MAR 2006

Abstract

Exosomes are small membrane vesicles found in cell culture supernatants and in different biological fluids. Exosomes form in a particular population of endosomes, called multivesicular bodies (MVBs), by inward budding into the lumen of the compartment. Upon fusion of MVBs with the plasma membrane, these internal vesicles are secreted. Exosomes possess a defined set of membrane and cytosolic proteins. The physiological function of exosomes is still a matter of debate, but increasing results in various experimental systems suggest their involvement in multiple biological processes. Because both cell-culture supernatants and biological fluids contain different types of lipid membranes, it is critical to perform high-quality exosome purification. This unit describes different approaches for exosome purification from various sources, and discusses methods to evaluate the purity and homogeneity of the purified exosome preparations.

Keywords:

  • Exosomes;
  • multivesicular bodies;
  • purification;
  • characterization;
  • exosome markers;
  • immunoblot;
  • sucrose gradient;
  • immunoisolation;
  • electron microscopy;
  • immunogold labeling