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Circular RNA in cancer: Functions and clinical implications

Circular RNA (circRNA) is a type of covalently closed non-coding RNA that stems from the non-canonical splicing of linear pre-mRNAs. Emerging evidence indicates that circRNAs play multifaceted roles in carcinogenesis, e.g., as oncogenic stimuli or tumor suppressors in cancers. circRNAs have also been shown to be enriched and stable in extracellular fluid, indicating the potential of circRNAs as cancer biomarkers. Furthermore, circRNA, together with its gene silencing ability, also shows its potential in RNA interference (RNAi) therapy by binding to target RNAs, which provides a novel perspective in cancer treatment. 

This Cancer Cell International thematic series is comprised of original articles and review articles which highlight recent advances in circRNA in cancer. 

© Chee-Onn Leong
© Chee-Onn Leong

  1. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and breast cancer are complex, chronic, heterogeneous, and multi-factorial diseases; with common risk factors including but not limited to diet, obesity, and age. They also share mutua...

    Authors: Ilhaam Ayaz Durrani, Attya Bhatti and Peter John
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:351
  2. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are RNAs that have an important role in various pathological processes, including cancer. After the usage of high-throughput RNA sequencing, many circRNAs were found to be differential...

    Authors: Pranavi Garlapati, Jinjie Ling, Paul J. Chiao and Jie Fu
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:317
  3. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been associated with wound healing, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are functional non-coding RNAs involved in multiple human cancers. Howeve...

    Authors: Guili Xu, Peng Zhang, Hansi Liang, Yunhua Xu, Jian Shen, Wansheng Wang, Mingming Li, Jintao Huang, Caifang Ni, Xueguang Zhang and Xiaoli Zhu
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:212
  4. Accumulating evidences have been reported that long noncoding RNAs play crucial roles in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). SnoRNA host gene 6 (SNHG6) is believed to be involved in several huma...

    Authors: Xiaoxi Fan, Zhongwei Zhao, Jingjing Song, Dengke Zhang, Fazong Wu, Jianfei Tu, Min Xu and Jiansong Ji
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:150
  5. Breast cancer ranks second of new cases and fifth of death in 2018 worldwide. Cis-platinum (CDDP) has been used as a chemotherapy to treat breast cancer for years. However, CDDP can adversely disrupt immune fu...

    Authors: Xin Huang, Cunchuan Wang and Ningxia Wang
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:113
  6. Pancreatic cancer (PC), characterized with high growth rate and metastatic rate. It’s urgently necessary to explore new mechanism of PC. Circular RNA/miRNA/mRNA network was widely reported to participate in th...

    Authors: Xingcheng Xiong, Jiarui Feng, Xiao Yang, Hanjun Li, Qiao Shi, Jing Tao and Jian Chang
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:112
  7. Long intergenic non-protein coding RNA 00342 (LINC00342) has been identified as a novel oncogene. However, the functional role of LINC00342 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear.

    Authors: Peng Shen, Lili Qu, Jingjing Wang, Quchen Ding, Chuanwen Zhou, Rui Xie, Honggang Wang and Guozhong Ji
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:105
  8. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are pervasively transcribed in genome and emerging as a new player in tumorigenesis due to their functions in transcriptional, posttranscriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of ge...

    Authors: Min Hou, Nannan Wu and Lili Yao
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:36
  9. Autophagy is a double-edged sword during the initiation and progression of multiple tumors. The Hippo pathway effector YAP has been proved to be involved in autophagy processes. The present study aimed to inve...

    Authors: Wei Xu, Mingjiong Zhang, Yue Li, Yu Wang, Kai Wang, Qiaoyu Chen, Runjie Zhang, Weiwei Song, Qiqing Huang, Weihong Zhao and Jianqing Wu
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:30
  10. Duodenal papilla carcinoma (DPC) is a rare malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract with high recurrence rate, and the pathogenesis of this highly malignant neoplasm is yet to be fully elucidated. This study a...

    Authors: Yuanxiang Lu, Wensen Li, Ge Liu, Yongbo Yang, Erwei Xiao, Senmao Mu, Yuqi Guo, Deyu Li and Guoyi Yan
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2021 21:9
  11. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignant tumor with unsatisfactory overall prognosis. CircRNAs could be promising prognostic biomarkers in cancers, and play important role in the process of tumorigenesis ...

    Authors: Linlin Xing, Mengyan Xia, Xin Jiao and Ling Fan
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:557
  12. Lung adenocarcinoma is metastatic cancer with a high mortality rate. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a type of noncoding RNA and play a vital role in cancer progression. However, the expression and function of ci...

    Authors: Yongyong Yan, Jiantian Yang, Janak L. Pathak, Haiyan Wang, Jun Zha, Yongxiang Wei, Haibo Tang and Linhu Ge
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:432
  13. Circular RNA (circRNA), an novel type of non-coding RNA, could interact with miRNA and protein molecules to regulate the occurrence and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is known a...

    Authors: Yabin Yu, Suyang Han, Meng Li, Yan Song and Fuzhen Qi
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:431
  14. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a novel class of noncoding RNAs. Increasing evidence indicates that circRNAs play an important role in the occurrence and development of tumors. However, the role of circRNA hsa_ci...

    Authors: Liang Jing, Junhui Wu, Xiaocheng Tang, Min Ma, Fei Long, Buning Tian and Changwei Lin
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:427
  15. As a new kind of RNA, circular RNA (circRNA) is a endogenous non-coding RNA with circular structure, which has the characteristics of universality, stability, conservatism and specificity. CircRNA can specific...

    Authors: Xiaoqing Zhang, Ning Lu, Li Wang, Yixuan Wang, Minna Li, Ying Zhou, Honglin Yan, Manli Cui, Mingxin Zhang and Lingmin Zhang
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:362
  16. Circular RNA (circRNA) is a novel class of regulatory noncoding RNA (ncRNA) molecules with a unique covalently closed loop structure. Next-generation sequencing shows that thousands of circRNAs are widely and ...

    Authors: Xuejing Yang, Jie Mei, Huiyu Wang, Dingyi Gu, Junli Ding and Chaoying Liu
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:265
  17. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common tumor characterized by high morbidity and mortality rates. The importance of circRNA in cancer diagnosis has been established. The study aimed to identify differentia...

    Authors: Xiang-Hong Sun, Yu-Tong Wang, Guo-Fu Li, Nan Zhang and Ling Fan
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:226
  18. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs with a unique ring structure and play important roles as gene regulators. Disturbed expressions of circRNAs is closely related to varieties of pathological pr...

    Authors: Huixin Song, Qiaofei Liu and Quan Liao
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:211
  19. Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common pediatric soft tissue sarcoma. There are two subtypes, fusion gene-positive RMS (FP-RMS) and fusion gene-negative RMS (FN-RMS), depending on the presence of a fusion g...

    Authors: Kazutaka Ouchi, Mitsuru Miyachi, Shigeki Yagyu, Ken Kikuchi, Yasumichi Kuwahara, Kunihiko Tsuchiya, Tomoko Iehara and Hajime Hosoi
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:192
  20. The purpose of this study is to perform bioinformatics analysis of autophagy-related genes in gastric cancer, and to construct a multi-gene joint signature for predicting the prognosis of gastric cancer.

    Authors: Jieping Qiu, Mengyu Sun, Yaoqun Wang and Bo Chen
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:178
  21. Tumor progression and distant metastasis are the main causes of deaths in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, and the molecular mechanisms in CRC metastasis have not been completely discovered.

    Authors: Wenping Lian, Huifang Jin, Jingjing Cao, Xinyu Zhang, Tao Zhu, Shuai Zhao, Sujun Wu, Kailu Zou, Xinyun Zhang, Mingliang Zhang, Xiaoyong Zheng and Mengle Peng
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:105
  22. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a malignant tumor, and the overall prognosis of patients with advanced CRC is still unsatisfactory. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein A ...

    Authors: Xiaoyu Zhang, Yingying Xu, Kenji Yamaguchi, Jinping Hu, Lianbo Zhang, Jianfeng Wang, Jifeng Tian and Wanying Chen
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:103
  23. Growing studies have focused on the role of microRNA-21 (miR-21) in glioma, thus our objective was to discuss the effect of M2 bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMDM)-derived exosomes (BMDM-Exos) shuffle miR-21 ...

    Authors: Fan Yang, Tiecheng Wang, Peng Du, Haitao Fan, Xushuai Dong and Hua Guo
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:93
  24. Currently, multiple circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been verified to act as essential regulators in the progression of gastric cancer (GC). We aimed to investigate the role of circ_0008035 in GC progression.

    Authors: Chang Li, Yuan Tian, Yun Liang and Qingchun Li
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:84

    The Retraction Note to this article has been published in Cancer Cell International 2021 21:416

  25. Recently, many emerging circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been studied in human malignancies, including gastric cancer (GC). Researches concerning cancers have revealed that aberrant expression of circRNAs play a ...

    Authors: Yan Ma, Xiliang Cong, Yiyun Zhang, Xin Yin, Ziyu Zhu and Yingwei Xue
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:81
  26. Osteosarcoma (OS) is a common primary malignant bone tumour. Growing evidence suggests that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are closely related to the development of tumours. However, the function of circRNAs in OS r...

    Authors: Yu Qiu, Chao Pu, Yanchao Li and Baochuang Qi
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:48
  27. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have received considerable attention in human cancer research. However, many circRNAs remain to be detected. In our study, we determined novel circRNAs and investigated their effects o...

    Authors: Hong-cheng Lu, Jia-qi Yao, Xiao Yang, Jie Han, Jing-zi Wang, Kun Xu, Rui Zhou, Hao Yu, Qiang Lv and Min Gu
    Citation: Cancer Cell International 2020 20:31