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05-07-2017 | Liquid biopsy | Review | Article

Platelet RNA signatures for the detection of cancer

Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

Authors: Nik Sol, Thomas Wurdinger

Publisher: Springer US


Platelets are equipped with RNA processing machineries, such as pre-mRNA splicing, pre-miRNA processing, and mRNA translation. Since platelets are devoid of a nucleus, most RNA transcripts in platelets are derived from megakaryocytes during thrombocytogenesis. However, platelets can also ingest RNA molecules during circulation and/or interaction with other cell types. Since platelets were first described by Bizzozero in 1881, their well-established role in hemostasis and thrombosis has been intensively studied. However, in the past decades, the list of biological processes in which platelets play an important role keeps expanding. In this review, we discuss how platelet RNA biomarker signatures can be altered in the presence of cancer.

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