What are exosomes?
Exosomes are extracellular vesicles of endosomal origin that are between 30 to 100 nanometers in size.
One key factor distinguishes exosome formation from the way by which microvesicles come into existence. The main difference is that while exosome formation is dependent upon the endosomal system, microvesicles (100-1000 nm in size) originate from the plasma membrane (Diagram 1.1).
Diagram 1.1: Exosome Formation.
Reviewed in: van Niel G, D’Angelo G, Raposo G. Shedding light on the cell biology of extracellular vesicles. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2018 Apr;19(4):213-228.