Recent studies have showed that RNAs regulate each other with microRNA (miRNA) response elements (MREs) and this mechanism is known as "competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA)" hypothesis. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are supposed to play important roles in cancer. Compelling evidence suggests that lncRNAs can interact with miRNAs and regulate the expression of miRNAs as ceRNAs. Several lncRNAs such as H19, HOTAIR and MEG3 have been found to be associated with miRNAs in gastric cancer (GC), generating regulatory crosstalk across the transcriptome. These MRE sharing elements implicated in the ceRNA networks (ceRNETs) are able to regulate mRNA expression. The ceRNA regulatory networks including mRNAs, miRNAs, lncRNAs and circular RNAs may play critical roles in tumorigenesis, and the perturbations of ceRNETs may contribute to the pathogenesis of GC.
Keywords: Competing endogenous RNA; Competitive endogenous RNAs networks; Gastric cancer; MicroRNA response elements; Perturbation.