Mechanisms of long non-coding RNA function in colorectal cancer tumorigenesis

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2021 Feb;17(1):7-23. doi: 10.1111/ajco.13452. Epub 2020 Sep 24.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers globally. Although a variety of CRC screening methods have been developed, many patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of CRC with tumor invasion and distance metastasis. Several studies have suggested the long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) as one of the main contributors in CRC tumorigenesis, although the exact underlying mechanism of lncRNAs in CRC is still unknown. Numerous studies have indicated aberrant expression of lncRNAs in CRC through different modes of action such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, DNA repair response, drug-resistance, migration, and metastasis. Furthermore, lncRNA polymorphisms can influence the risk of CRC development. Accordingly, lncRNAs can be served as promising diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers and also desired therapeutic targets affecting the outcome of patients with CRC. In this review, we summarized the updated and novel evidence that identifies different roles of lncRNAs in the tumorigenesis of CRC.

Keywords: colon adenocarcinoma; colorectal cancer; epigenetic; long noncoding RNAs; microRNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*


  • RNA, Long Noncoding