Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles that are secreted by various cell types. Unlike other extracellular vesicles (ectosomes and apoptotic blebs), exosomes are of endocytic origin. The roles of exosomes in vaccine/drug delivery, intercellular communication and as a possible source of disease biomarkers have sparked immense interest in them, resulting in a plethora of studies. Whilst multidimensional datasets are continuously generated, it is difficult to harness the true potential of the data until they are compiled and made accessible to the biomedical researchers. Here, we describe ExoCarta (http://www.exocarta.org), a manually curated database of exosomal proteins, RNA and lipids. Datasets currently present in ExoCarta are integrated from both published and unpublished exosomal studies. Since its launch in 2009, ExoCarta has been accessed by more than 16,000 unique users. In this article, we discuss the utility of ExoCarta for exosomal research and urge biomedical researchers in the field to deposit their datasets directly to ExoCarta.
Keywords: Vesiclepedia; exosome resource; exosome tools; extracellular organelles; microvesicle database.