Exosomes and GPI-anchored proteins: Judicious pairs for investigating biomarkers from body fluids

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2020;161-162:110-123. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2020.08.006. Epub 2020 Aug 21.


Exosomes are 50-100 nm membranous vesicles actively released by cells which can be indicative of a diseased cell status. They contain various kinds of molecule - proteins, mRNA, miRNA, lipids - that are actively being studied as potential biomarkers. Hereafter I put forward several arguments in favor of the potential use of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) as biomarkers especially of cancerous diseases. I will briefly update readers on the exosome field and review various features of GPI-APs, before further discussing the advantages of this class of proteins as potential exosomal biomarkers. I will finish with a few examples of exosomal GPI-APs that have already been demonstrated to be good prognostic markers, as well as innovative approaches developed to quantify these exosomal biomarkers.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Cancer; ExoScreen; ExoView; Exosomes; GPI-anchored proteins; Nano-plasmonic sensor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Body Fluids / cytology*
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment / physiology


  • Biomarkers
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger