Gastrointestinal cancer drug resistance: the role of exosomal miRNAs

Mahsa Salehi, Asma Vafadar, Seyyed Hossein Khatami, Mortaza Taheri-Anganeh, Omid Vakili, Amir Savardashtaki, Babak Negahdari, Parisa Naeli, Hamid Behrouj, Hassan Ghasemi, Ahmad Movahedpour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Resistance of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer cells to therapeutic agents are one of the major problems in treating this type of cancer. Although the exact mechanism of drug resistance has not yet been fully elucidated, various factors have been identified as contributing factors involved in this process. Several studies have revealed the role of exosomes, especially exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs), in GI tumorigenesis, invasion, angiogenesis, and drug resistance. Exosomes, a type of small extracellular vesicles (EVs), are originated from endosomes and are released into the extracellular environment and body fluids by different cell types. Exosomes mediate cell-cell communication by transferring different cargos, including miRNAs, between parent and recipient cells. Therefore, identifying these exosomal miRNAs and their functions in GI cancers might provide new clues to further explore the secret of this process and thus help in drug-resistance management. This review article will discuss the roles of exosomal miRNAs and their mechanisms of action in drug resistance of different types of GI cancer cells (e.g., stomach, esophagus, liver, pancreas, and colon) to therapeutic agents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology Reports
Early online date30 Nov 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Nov 2021


  • Exosome
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • miRNA
  • Drug resistance
  • Exosomal miRNA


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