Bacterial RNA in extracellular vesicles: A new regulator of host-pathogen interactions?


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released by cells from all kingdoms and represent one form of cell-cell interaction. This universal system of communication blurs cells type boundaries, offering an new avenue for pathogens to infect their hosts. EVs carry with them an arsenal of virulence factors that have been the focus of numerous studies. During the last years, the RNA content of EVs has also gained increasing attention, particularly in the context of infection. Secreted RNA in EVs (evRNA) from several bacterial pathogens have been characterised but the exact mechanisms promoting pathogenicity remain elusive. In this review, we evaluate the potential of such transcripts to directly interact with targets in infected cells and, by this, represent a novel angle of host cell manipulation during bacterial infection.

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms