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CircRNAs in Human Cancer
In human cancer, circular RNAs (circRNAs) were implicated in the control of oncogenic activities such as tumor cell proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance. The most widely described mechanism of action of circRNAs is their ability to act as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) for miRNAs, lncRNAs and mRNAs, thus impacting along their axis, despite the fact that a variety of additional mechanisms of action are emerging, representing an open and expanding field of study.
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) belong to a new class of non-coding RNAs implicated in cellular physiological functions but also in the evolution of various human pathologies. Due to their circular shape, circRNAs are resistant to degradation by exonuclease activity, making them more stable than linear RNAs. Several findings reported that circRNAs are aberrantly modulated in human cancer tissues, thus affecting carcinogenesis and metastatization. We aim to report the most recent and relevant results about novel circRNA functions and molecular regulation, to dissert about their role as reliable cancer biomarkers, and to hypothesize their contribution to multiple hallmarks of cancer.
Next generation RNA sequencing techniques, implemented in the recent years, have allowed us to identify circular RNAs (circRNAs), covalently closed loop structures resulting in RNA molecules that are more stable than linear RNAs. This class of non-coding RNA is emerging to be involved in a variety of cell functions during development, differentiation, and in many diseases, including cancer. Among the described biological activities, circRNAs have been implicated in microRNA (miRNA) sequestration, modulation of protein–protein interactions and regulation of mRNA transcription. In human cancer, circRNAs were implicated in the control of oncogenic activities such as tumor cell proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance. The most widely described mechanism of action of circRNAs is their ability to act as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) for miRNAs, lncRNAs and mRNAs, thus impacting along their axis, despite the fact that a variety of additional mechanisms of action are emerging, representing an open and expanding field of study. Furthermore, research is currently focusing on understanding the possible implications of circRNAs in diagnostics, prognosis prediction, effectiveness of therapies and, eventually, therapeutic intervention in human cancer. The purpose of this review is to discuss new knowledge on the mechanisms of circRNA action, beyond ceRNA, their impact on human cancer and to dissect their potential value as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
The entry is from 10.3390/cancers13133154
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