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Role of REV-ERBβ in Exosome Biogenesis and Release

Research Team


Principal Investigator: Yongjun Wang

Funding Information

Funding Agency: Office of Research and Economic Development—Layman Award

Award Date: Aug 1, 2020

End Date: Jul 31, 2021


Exosomes are small particles that are released naturally from cells. Although biologists have known for more than 20 years that exosomes exist, they still know little about what exosomes do.

In recent years, biologists have recognized that exosomes play a role in communication among and within cells in the body. Because cellular communication is part of cancer development and progression, the lack of knowledge about how exosomes are released is a huge barrier to advancing cancer research.

Nuclear receptors are proteins that help turn genes “on” or “off.” They play a role in every aspect of development, physiology, and disease. REV-ERBβ is one of many nuclear receptors. Scientists know REV-ERBβ affects circadian rhythm, metabolism and cellular proliferation. However, no scientists currently are studying how nuclear receptors regulate exosome release. 

This project will advance knowledge of how REV-ERBβ regulates or gives instructions to exosomes for their release. Using multiple cancer cell lines, researchers will test whether REV-ERBβ can regulate critical genes, and whether regulation can lead to physiological results. Work will be in collaboration with UNL’s Biomedical and Obesity Research Core — a core facility in the Nebraska Center for Prevention of Obesity Diseases, which is renowned for exosome study.

The study will provide pilot data for a proposed study that will focus on the regulation of exosome content — proteins, RNA — by nuclear receptors and its effect on sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy. 

Research & Evaluation Methods