Broad role for YBX1 in defining the small noncoding RNA composition of exosomes
Cells release vesicles containing selectively packaged cargo, including RNA, into the extracellular environment. Prior studies have identified RNA inside extracellular vesicles (EVs), but due to limitations of conventional sequencing methods, highly structured and posttranscriptionally modified RNA species were not effectively captured. Using an alternative sequencing approach (thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptase sequencing, TGIRT-seq), we found that EVs contain abundant small noncoding RNA species, including full-length transfer RNAs and Y RNAs. Using a knockout cell line, we obtained evidence that the RNA-binding protein YBX1 plays a role in sorting small noncoding RNAs into a subpopulation of EVs termed exosomes. These experiments expand our understanding of EV–RNA composition and provide insights into how RNA is sorted into EVs for cellular export.
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