Small RNAs in Outer Membrane Vesicles and Their Function in Host-Microbe Interactions

Sara Ahmadi Badi, Stefania Paola Bruno, Arfa Moshiri, Samira Tarashi, Seyed Davar Siadat, Andrea Masotti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) produced by Gram-negative bacteria and their RNA content have recently received increasing attention as novel mediators of host-guest intercellular and interspecies communication. These kinds of vesicles allow not only the export of proteins, but also of DNA and other small RNAs. We previously reported that the production of bacterial vesicles could represent a way to communicate with the surrounding environment. This general mechanism, exploited by bacteria and viruses, allows conveying “messages” to the surrounding cells and tissues, thus leading to the manipulation of the host immune response. Many functions attributed to OMVs are a consequence of their high capability to survive in different environmental stressors and to enter into cells quite easily. As these properties can be exploited to advantage human health, in this review, we summarized the papers that reported the use of OMVs as modulators of cellular activities through the involvement of the RNAs contained within. We also discussed what has been done with OMVs and what remains to be discovered in order to prompt the investigations toward the complete elucidation of the role and functions of these vesicles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1209
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 2020


  • gene regulation and expression
  • inter-kingdom communication
  • miRNA-like RNA molecules
  • outer membrane vesicles
  • small RNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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