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Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Apr 15, 2016; 8(4): 330-340
Published online Apr 15, 2016. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v8.i4.330
MicroRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in colorectal cancer
Rui Yi, Yao Li, Fei-Liang Wang, Gang Miao, Ruo-Mei Qi, Yan-Yang Zhao
Rui Yi, Ruo-Mei Qi, Yan-Yang Zhao, the Key Laboratory of Geriatrics, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health, Beijing 100730, China
Yao Li, Fei-Liang Wang, Gang Miao, Department of Surgery, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health, Beijing 100730, China
Author contributions: Yi R, Li Y, Wang FL and Zhao YY wrote the paper; Miao G, Qi RM and Zhao YY fully discussed the paper.
Supported by Municipal Natural Science Foundation of Beijing of China, No. 5102039; and National Natural Science Foundation of China, Nos. 81101859, 81270379, 81070231.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The manuscript was approved by all the authors. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Yan-Yang Zhao, MD, PhD, the Key Laboratory of Geriatrics, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health, No.1, DaHua Road, Dong Dan, Beijing 100730, China.
Telephone: +86-10-58115045 Fax: +86-10-65132969
Received: April 28, 2015
Peer-review started: May 6, 2015
First decision: September 8, 2015
Revised: January 13, 2016
Accepted: January 28, 2016
Article in press: January 31, 2016
Published online: April 15, 2016

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators involved in various tumors. They regulate cell cycle, apoptosis and cancer stemness, metastasis and chemoresistance by controlling their target gene expressions. Here, we mainly discuss the potential uses of miRNAs in colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis. We also shed light on the important corresponding miRNA targets and on the major regulators of miRNAs. Furthermore, we discuss miRNA activity in assessing the prognosis and recurrence of CRC as well as in modulating responsiveness to chemotherapy. Based on the various pro-oncogenic/anti-oncogenic roles of miRNAs, the advantages of a therapeutic strategy based on the delivery of miRNA mimics are also mentioned. Together, miRNA seems to be an excellent tool for effectively monitoring and targeting CRC.

Keywords: MicroRNA, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Colorectal cancer, Biomarkers

Core tip: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate oncogenesis, metastasis and chemotherapy by controlling corresponding target gene expressions. Here, we shed light on the diagnostic and prognostic value of some miRNAs in colorectal cancer and potential miRNA-based therapy was also discussed. We hope that this review will offer useful information for researchers who work in a related field.