Histol Histopathol 2019 Oct 16:18171. Epub 2019 Oct 16.
Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong.
MicroRNAs are endogenous, short non-coding RNA molecules that function as critical regulators of various biological processes. There is a strong functional evidence linking the involvement of dysregulated miRNAs to the occurrence, development and progression of colorectal cancer. Studies indicate that while overexpression of oncomiRs, and repression of tumor suppressor miRNAs tends to drive the overall tumorigenic process, the global picture of aberrant miRNA expression in colorectal cancer can classify the disease into multiple molecular phenotypes. Moreover, the expression pattern of miRNAs in colorectal cancer make them viable disease determinants as well as potential therapeutic targets. Through this review, we will summarize the importance of miRNAs in the etiology and progression of colorectal cancer. Specifically, we will explore the key role played by these RNA molecules as likely therapeutic avenues and the strategies presently available to target them. Finally, we will investigate the role of miRNAs as potential non-invasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in colorectal cancer.