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Mol Cancer. 2018 Apr 7;17(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s12943-018-0827-8.

Circular RNAs function as ceRNAs to regulate and control human cancer progression.

Zhong Y1,2, Du Y1,2, Yang X1,2, Mo Y1,2, Fan C2, Xiong F1, Ren D1,2, Ye X1,2, Li C1,2, Wang Y1,2, Wei F2, Guo C2, Wu X2, Li X2,3, Li Y2,4, Li G2,3, Zeng Z5,6,7, Xiong W8,9,10.

Author information

1
The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis of the Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
2
The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Basic Medical Science School and Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
3
Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
4
Department of Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.
5
The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis of the Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. zengzhaoyang@csu.edu.cn.
6
The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Basic Medical Science School and Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. zengzhaoyang@csu.edu.cn.
7
Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. zengzhaoyang@csu.edu.cn.
8
The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis of the Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. xiongwei@csu.edu.cn.
9
The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Basic Medical Science School and Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. xiongwei@csu.edu.cn.
10
Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. xiongwei@csu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are connected at the 3' and 5' ends by exon or intron cyclization, forming a complete ring structure. circRNA is more stable and conservative than linear RNA and abounds in various organisms. In recent years, increasing numbers of reports have found that circRNA plays a major role in the biological functions of a network of competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA). circRNAs can compete together with microRNAs (miRNAs) to influence the stability of target RNAs or their translation, thus, regulating gene expression at the transcriptional level. circRNAs are involved in biological processes such as tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and migration as ceRNAs. circRNAs, therefore, represent promising candidates for clinical diagnosis and treatment. Here, we review the progress in studying the role of circRNAs as ceRNAs in tumors and highlight the participation of circRNAs in signal transduction pathways to regulate cellular functions.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Circular RNAs; Gene expression regulation; ceRNA

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