Exosomes and autophagy: rekindling the vesicular waste hypothesis

Johann Mar Gudbergsson, Kasper Bendix Johnsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Exosomes were first described as waste carriers implicated in reticulocyte maturation but has during the past decade been associated with many other cellular functions. The biogenesis of exosomes has been extensively studied and several protein machineries have been identified to dictate their production and release. The newly discovered branches of the autophagy system implicate secretion of waste in endosomal-derived vesicles as is thought for exosome release. Many of the proteins that have been identified as responsible for the formation and release of these vesicles are the same as those identified in exosome biogenesis. In this Perspective, we discuss the possibility of exosomes being a part of the autophagy machinery and the consequences this could have on interpretation of exosome functions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cell Communication and Signaling
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)443-450
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Autophagy
  • EV
  • Exosomes
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Secretory autophagy
  • Vesicles

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