Theranostics 2017; 7(12):3106-3117. doi:10.7150/thno.19016

Review

Circular RNAs: Regulators of Cancer-Related Signaling Pathways and Potential Diagnostic Biomarkers for Human Cancers

Zuozhang Yang1*✉, Lin Xie2*, Lei Han1*, Xin Qu1, Yihao Yang1, Ya Zhang1, Zewei He1, Yu Wang1, Jing Li3

1. Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors Research Center of Yunnan Province, Department of Orthopaedics, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University (Tumor Hospital of Yunnan Province), Kunming, Yunnan 650118, China;
2. Department of Medical Oncology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University (Tumor Hospital of Yunnan Province), Kunming, Yunnan 650118, China;
3. State Key Laboratory of Protein and Plant Gene Research, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered as co-first authors.

Abstract

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are newly discovered endogenous non-coding RNAs featuring structural stability, high abundance, and tissue-specific expression. CircRNAs are prevalent and conserved in mammalian cells. They are involved in cellular processes and regulate gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level by interacting with microRNAs (miRNAs) and other molecules. Recent studies have shown that circRNAs play an important role in the progression of various human diseases including atherosclerosis, nervous system disorders, diabetes, and cancer. In this review, we summarize the advances on endogenous circRNAs in eukaryotic cells and elucidate their diagnostic and prognostic significance in human cancers. Especially, we highlight the involvement of circRNAs in signal transduction pathways as well as their clinical potential to serve as biomarkers.

Keywords: circular RNA, cancer, diagnosis, biomarkers.

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How to cite this article:
Yang Z, Xie L, Han L, Qu X, Yang Y, Zhang Y, He Z, Wang Y, Li J. Circular RNAs: Regulators of Cancer-Related Signaling Pathways and Potential Diagnostic Biomarkers for Human Cancers. Theranostics 2017; 7(12):3106-3117. doi:10.7150/thno.19016. Available from http://www.thno.org/v07p3106.htm