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Table 1 Major subtypes of EVs and their representative features

From: Extracellular vesicles in the tumor microenvironment: old stories, but new tales

EV subtype Subcellular origin Regular diameter Sedimentation force Biogenetic mechanisms
Exosomes Multivesicular bodies (MVBs)/ endosomes 30–120 nm 100,000 g Rab proteins (i.e. Rab7, Rab11, Rab27A/B, Rab35), NSMase, ESCRTs, syndecan, syntenin, ATG12, tetraspanins
Microvesicles (MVs)/ectosomes /microparticles Plasma membrane 100–1000 nm 10,000 g ASMase, flippase, flippase and scramblase (TMEM16F), ARF6
Apoptotic bodies (ABs) Apoptotic blebs 0.8–5.0 μm 2000 g Annexin V, Caspase 3
  1. Characterization of EV subtypes is based on recent scientific advances in EV biology [7, 124, 134, 135]