MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs which regulate gene expression in a post-transcriptional manner. Although the first study was published about 15 years ago, knowledge about their role in regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and immunity has been greatly advanced recently. Their association with formation, angiogenesis, metastasis and chemotherapy resistance of tumors has become one of the core issues in epigenetics of cancer. Here, we summarize the latest findings concerning microRNAs involved in different signal pathways leading to colorectal cancer, introduce some new potential microRNAs as biomarkers in diagnosis and prognosis, and analyze its application in the treatment of cancer.
Copyright 2010 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology and the Genetics Society of China. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.