Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous malignancy with increased death rate and poor prognosis. Metastasis is accountable for almost 90% of CRC patient’s death. Intensified screening procedures and molecular target identification inflated the median survival rate in CRC patients. Discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) paves the way for developing a novel approach in CRC theragnostics. miRNAs and lncRNAs are non-coding RNA (ncRNAs) sequences present in almost all cell types which plays a vital role in several biological processes such as cellular organization, cell fate determination, proliferation, apoptosis, tissue homeostasis maintenance as well as cancer progression by acting as post transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Extensive research in previous years has identified that ncRNAs are involved in CRC progression but the molecular mechanism behind regulating CRC is not clearly elucidated. Here we thus summarize the roles of ncRNAs in CRC with a focus on novel mechanisms of action, recent advances in regulatory mechanisms that control the gene expression related to carcinogenesis and discuss the current strategies in designing ncRNA-targeting therapeutics. Furthermore, we also discuss the potential clinical application of ncRNAs in CRC as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer, microRNA, non-coding RNA, diagnosis, biomarker, progression
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