About exRNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) was once thought to exist in a stable form only inside cells, where it served as an intermediate in the translation from genes to proteins. However, recent research has indicated that RNAs can play a role in a variety of complex cellular functions, including newly discovered mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication. RNA can be exported from cells in extracellular vesicles or bound to lipids or proteins, to circulate through the body and affect cells at a great distance. These extracellular RNAs, or “exRNAs,” may also be absorbed from food, the microbes that live in our bodies, or the environment, potentially eliciting a variety of biological responses. However, the actual impact of these exRNAs is not known. An opportunity exists to establish entirely new paradigms of intercellular and inter-species information exchange based on the release, transport, uptake, and regulatory role of exRNAs.

In response to this opportunity, which was identified through the Common Fund strategic planning process (click here for an overview), the Common Fund launched the Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium (ERCC). The goals of the ERC consortium are to discover fundamental biological principles about the mechanisms of exRNA generation, secretion, and transport; to identify and develop a catalog of exRNA found in normal human body fluids; and to investigate the potential for using exRNAs in the clinic as therapeutic molecules or biomarkers of disease.

For more information on the ERC consortium, please see this NIH page.

Consortium Seminars

To provide the scientific community with a better understanding of the work of the ERC consortium, we will periodically post here videos of web seminars presented by consortium members and other researchers in the field.

Comparison of exRNA isolation methods reveals that biofluids contain multiple distinct exRNA compartments

Srimeenakshi Srinivasan, UC San Diego Department of Reproductive Medicine
Consortium member
ERCC Seminar Series
07 June 2018

 

Aging affects extracellular RNA and extracellular vesicles

Nicole Noren Hooten, National Institute on Aging
Guest speaker
ERCC Seminar Series
07 September 2017

June 5th, 2018 We are highlighting Dr. Noren Hooten's ERCC seminar because of the recent publication of "Extracellular RNA profiles with human age" (Dluzen et al., Aging Cell 2018), an article that provides greater detail about the topics discussed in the seminar.

 

Salivary exRNA and a New Horizon in Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Biology

David Wong, UCLA
Consortium member
ERCC Seminar Series
01 March 2018

 

Exosomes and exRNA: Modulating Cellular Transcriptome and Regeneration

Susmita Sahoo, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY
Guest speaker
ERCC Seminar Series
04 January 2018

 

Robust biomarker selection from RT-qPCR data using statistical consensus criteria

Jack Wiedrick, Oregon Health & Science University
Consortium member
ERCC Seminar Series
07 December 2017

 

KRAS-dependent sorting of miRNA into exosomes

James Patton, Vanderbilt
Consortium member
ERCC Seminar Series
05 October 2017

 

Aging affects extracellular RNA and extracellular vesicles

Nicole Noren Hooten, National Institute on Aging
Guest speaker
ERCC Seminar Series
07 September 2017

The publication "Extracellular RNA profiles with human age" (Dluzen et al., Aging Cell 2018) provides greater detail about the topics discussed in the seminar.

 

Extracellular vesicles released by glioblastoma cells: saboteurs, biomarkers and therapeutics

Xandra Breakefield, Massachusetts General Hospital
Consortium member
NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS)
10 May 2017

See the related blog post by Blair Ilsley from UC Denver.

 

The Distinct Traits and Functions of Exosomes and Microvesicles

Marc Antonyak, Cornell
Guest speaker
ERCC Seminar Series
27 October 2016

 

Cancer-host crosstalk through endogenous and exogenous extracellular miRNA

Emily Wang, UCSD
Guest speaker
ERCC Seminar Series
01 Sept 2016

 

Extracellular oncogenes as biological effectors and biomarkers

Janusz Rak, McGill University
Guest speaker
ERCC Seminar Series
30 June 2016

 

Overview of the first public release of the exRNA Atlas

Sai Lakshmi Subramanian, Baylor College of Medicine
Consortium member
ERCC Seminar Series
04 February 2016

 

Understanding and using small RNA-seq

David Galas, Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute
Consortium member
ERCC Seminar Series
03 December 2015
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