Exosomes Lab Research groups

The discovery of cell-secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) including EXOSOMES has provided a new cellular component with the ability to influence different biological and pathological processes. In the last years these vesicles has attracted the interest in clinical, pharmaceutical and manufacturing areas. All cellular systems in culture or forming part of a tissue in the body secrete EVs containing proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and metabolites into the environment. They have been shown to act as important mediators of intercellular communication and regulators of cellular niches, and their altered characteristics in many diseases suggest them to be helpful for the diagnostic purposes. Our group has been working in exosomes since 2006 and acquired wide experience in isolate and characterize these vesicles from different biofluids and cell lines, in normal and pathological conditions. Our current scientific interests are:

1) To elucidate the functional role of exosomes in metabolism. The goal is to identify genes, proteins and metabolites that form part of the exosomes in normal and pathological conditions. The improvement in the knowledge of the cargo of these vesicles will provide also clues about the functional role and implications of them in biology. Technological advances in the past 20 years have permitted large-scale measurements of biochemical and cellular constituents for study as a unified whole, creating all the ‘-omics’ technologies including proteomics, genomics and more recently metabolomics.  The group has already showed the presence in hepatic exosomes of an elevated number of metabolic enzymes involved in endogenous and xenobiotics compounds, and we are currently studying the implications of these vesicles in the metabolism of those compounds.

2) To develop diagnosis and therapeutics tools based on exosomes. Exosomes constitutes a platform to identify low-invasive disease biomarkers. The group is currently comparing the composition of exosomes in different scenarios in order to generate a repertoire of differentially expressed molecules that could be candidate biomarker of disease. In addition, behind the idea to obtain a "magic bullet" – a desired activity encapsulated in a vehicle with a known specific target- the group is trying to define the cellular preferences displayed by exosomes. In this aspect the group is focused in identifying the molecular determinants that define the cellular specificity, and also the molecular machinery involved in the biogenesis of exosomes. A better knowledge of the biology and the mechanisms of action of exosomes will help to manipulate these vesicles with therapeutics purposes.

Science field

Life & Medical Sciences

RIS3 Priorities
  • Biosciences & Health
Main researcher
Juan Manuel Falcón-Pérez
Bizkaia Science and Technology Park, building 801A, Derio (Bizkaia).
How to arrive
Main research lines
  • Functional role of exosomes in metabolism
  • Diagnosis and therapeutics tools based on exosomes