Potential roles of microRNAs and ROS in colorectal cancer: diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets

Jingmei Lin, Chia-Chen Chuang and Li Zuo _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:17328-17346. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14461

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Jingmei Lin1, Chia-Chen Chuang2,3 and Li Zuo2,3

1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

2 Radiologic Sciences and Respiratory Therapy Division, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA

3 Interdisciplinary Biophysics Graduate Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Correspondence to:

Li Zuo, email:

Keywords: colorectal cancer, free radicals, microRNA, ROS, therapeutic targets

Received: May 04, 2016 Accepted: December 16, 2016 Published: January 03, 2017


As one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide, colorectal adenocarcinoma often occurs sporadically in individuals aged 50 or above and there is an increase among younger patients under 50. Routine screenings are recommended for this age group to improve early detection. The multifactorial etiology of colorectal cancer consists of both genetic and epigenetic factors. Recently, studies have shown that the development and progression of colorectal cancer can be attributed to aberrant expression of microRNA. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a key role in cancer cell survival, can also lead to carcinogenesis and cancer exacerbations. Given the rapid accumulating knowledge in the field, an updated review regarding microRNA and ROS in colorectal cancer is necessary. An extensive literature search has been conducted in PubMed/Medline databases to review the roles of microRNAs and ROS in colorectal cancer. Unique microRNA expression in tumor tissue, peripheral blood, and fecal samples from patients with colorectal cancer is outlined. Therapeutic approaches focusing on microRNA and ROS in colorectal cancer treatment is also delineated. This review aims to summarize the newest knowledge on the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer in the hopes of discovering novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic techniques.

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