Uptake of micrornas from exosome-like nanovesicles of edible plant juice by rat enterocytes

Yuko Ito, Kohei Taniguchi, Yuki Kuranaga, Nabil Eid, Yosuke Inomata, Sang Woong Lee, Kazuhisa Uchiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs present in extracellular vesicles (EVs) that, when transferred to a target cell, affect its biological functions. Plant miRNAs regulate the expression of certain mammalian genes. Here, we characterized EVs in fruit and vegetable juice, and their miRNA cargo, and investigated whether such miRNA-containing EVs could be taken up by mammalian enterocytes in vitro. Using filtration and ultra-centrifugation methods, EVs were purified from commercially available and manually squeezed plant juice. EV morphological features and subcellular localization were analyzed using the NanoSight tracking system and electron microscopy. Plant EV miRNA levels were evaluated using quantitative reverse transcription PCR. For the in vitro EV uptake experiments, rat intestinal epithelial cells (IEC6) were used. Plant EVs shared morphological features with mammalian EVs and contained miR156a-5p, miR166a-3p, and miR168a-5p. EVs were present in the cell sap-filled central vacuoles and were taken up by IEC6 cells. Edible plant cells produce EVs that contain various miRNAs and release them into the central vacuole. The exogenous plant EVs are taken up by mammalian enterocytes in vitro. These findings suggest the possibility that exogenous plant miRNAs carried by EVs can be absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3749
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Edible plant
  • Enterocyte
  • Exosome
  • Extracellular vesicle
  • MicroRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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