The Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium (ERCC) was launched to accelerate progress in the new field of extracellular RNA (exRNA) biology and to establish whether exRNAs and their carriers, including extracellular vesicles (EVs), can mediate intercellular communication and be utilized for clinical applications. Phase 1 of the ERCC focused on exRNA/EV biogenesis and function, discovery of exRNA biomarkers, development of exRNA/EV-based therapeutics, and construction of a robust set of reference exRNA profiles for a variety of biofluids. Here, we present progress by ERCC investigators in these areas, and we discuss collaborative projects directed at development of robust methods for EV/exRNA isolation and analysis and tools for sharing and computational analysis of exRNA profiling data. The Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium (ERCC) presents progress toward understanding the biology of extracellular RNAs and their use as biomarkers and therapeutics.
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We acknowledge program leadership by members of the NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Workgroup, especially Kevin Howcroft, Danilo Tagle, John Satterlee, Patricia Labosky, Pothur Srinivas, Nic Johnston, Kayla Valdes, Lillian Kuo, Dena Procaccini, Dinah Singer, and Christopher Austin. We also acknowledge valuable feedback from the program’s External Scientific Panel members: Beverly Davidson, Tom Gingeras, Jan Lötvall, Janusz Rak, Gyongyi Szabo, and Kenneth Witwer. We would like to thank Elke Norwig-Eastaugh for her valuable contribution in organizing the ERCC investigator meetings. We thank Luc Laurent for creation of Figure 1 . All authors were supported by the NIH Common Fund Extracellular RNA Communication Program through the following grants: 1U01HL126493 , 1U01HL126494 , 1U01HL126495 , 1U01HL126496 , 1U01HL126497 , 1U01HL126499 , 1U19CA179512 , 1U19CA179513 , 1U19CA179514 , 1U19CA179563 , 1U19CA179564 , 1U54DA036134 , 1UH2TR000875 , 1UH2TR000880 , 1UH2TR000884 , 1UH2TR000888 , 1UH2TR000890 , 1UH2TR000891 , 1UH2TR000901 , 1UH2TR000902 , 1UH2TR000903 , 1UH2TR000906 , 1UH2TR000914 , 1UH2TR000918 , 1UH2TR000921 , 1UH2TR000923 , 1UH2TR000928 , 1UH2TR000931 , 1UH2TR000933 , 1UH2TR000943 . The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and may not necessarily reflect those of the NIH.
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