The mechanistic, diagnostic and therapeutic novel nucleic acids for hepatocellular carcinoma emerging in past score years

Brief Bioinform. 2021 Mar 22;22(2):1860-1883. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbaa023.


Despite The Central Dogma states the destiny of gene as 'DNA makes RNA and RNA makes protein', the nucleic acids not only store and transmit genetic information but also, surprisingly, join in intracellular vital movement as a regulator of gene expression. Bioinformatics has contributed to knowledge for a series of emerging novel nucleic acids molecules. For typical cases, microRNA (miRNA), long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) and circular RNA (circRNA) exert crucial role in regulating vital biological processes, especially in malignant diseases. Due to extraordinarily heterogeneity among all malignancies, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has emerged enormous limitation in diagnosis and therapy. Mechanistic, diagnostic and therapeutic nucleic acids for HCC emerging in past score years have been systematically reviewed. Particularly, we have organized recent advances on nucleic acids of HCC into three facets: (i) summarizing diverse nucleic acids and their modification (miRNA, lncRNA, circRNA, circulating tumor DNA and DNA methylation) acting as potential biomarkers in HCC diagnosis; (ii) concluding different patterns of three key noncoding RNAs (miRNA, lncRNA and circRNA) in gene regulation and (iii) outlining the progress of these novel nucleic acids for HCC diagnosis and therapy in clinical trials, and discuss their possibility for clinical applications. All in all, this review takes a detailed look at the advances of novel nucleic acids from potential of biomarkers and elaboration of mechanism to early clinical application in past 20 years.

Keywords: ctDNA; hepatocellular carcinoma; lncRNA; miRNA; noncoding RNA; therapy.