Despite clear evidence that exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) are able to modulate the cellular microenvironment and that exosomal RNA cargo selection is deregulated in pathological conditions, the mechanisms controlling specific RNA sorting into extracellular vesicles are still poorly understood. Here, we identified the RNA binding protein SYNCRIP (synaptotagmin-binding cytoplasmic RNA-interacting protein; also known as hnRNP-Q or NSAP1) as a component of the hepatocyte exosomal miRNA sorting machinery. SYNCRIP knockdown impairs sorting of miRNAs in exosomes. Furthermore, SYNCRIP directly binds to specific miRNAs enriched in exosomes sharing a common extra-seed sequence (hEXO motif). The hEXO motif has a role in the regulation of miRNA localization, since embedment of this motif into a poorly exported miRNA enhances its loading into exosomes. This evidence provides insights into the mechanisms of miRNA exosomal sorting process. Moreover, these findings open the way for the possible selective modification of the miRNAs exosomal cargo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)