Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Oncol. Aug 24, 2020; 11(8): 563-572
Published online Aug 24, 2020. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v11.i8.563
Circular RNA and its potential as prostate cancer biomarkers
Dwayne Tucker, Wei Zheng, Da-Hong Zhang, Xuesen Dong
Dwayne Tucker, Wei Zheng, Xuesen Dong, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Z6, Canada
Wei Zheng, Da-Hong Zhang, Department of Urology, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310024, Zhejiang Province, China
Author contributions: Tucker D, Zheng W, Zhang DH, and Dong XS developed the concept; Tucker D wrote the manuscript; Zheng W prepared illustration; Zhang DH and Dong XS revised the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors have no conflict-of-interest related to this manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (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:
Corresponding author: Xuesen Dong, PhD, Associate Professor, Senior Scientist, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, No. 2660 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Z6, Canada.
Received: December 31, 2019
Peer-review started: December 31, 2019
First decision: March 15, 2020
Revised: June 9, 2020
Accepted: July 19, 2020
Article in press: July 19, 2020
Published online: August 24, 2020

Advancing knowledge of the transcriptome has revealed that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are widely expressed and evolutionarily conserved molecules that may serve relevant biological roles. More interesting is the accumulating evidence which demonstrates the implication of circRNAs in diseases, especially cancers. This revelation has helped to form the rationale for many studies exploring their utility as clinical biomarkers. CircRNAs are highly stable due to their unique structures, exhibit some tissue specificity, and are enriched in exosomes, which facilitate their detection in a range of body fluids. These properties make circRNAs ideal candidates for biomarker development in many diseases. This review will outline the discovery, biogenesis, and proposed functions of circRNAs.

Keywords: Circular RNA, RNA splicing, Prostate cancer, Biomarker, Cell-free RNA

Core tip: Circular RNAs are unusually stable RNA molecules that are tissue- and cell lineage-specific, abundantly expressed in cells, and enriched in exosomes. These properties facilitate their detection in different body fluids and probable utility as biomarkers. Herein, we review the literature that investigates their potential as biomarkers for prostate cancer.