Exosomal-long non-coding RNAs journey in colorectal cancer: Evil and goodness faces of key players

Life Sci. 2022 Mar 1;292:120325. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120325. Epub 2022 Jan 12.


Exosomes are nano-vesicles (NVs) secreted by cells and take part in cell-cell communications. Lately, these exosomes were proved to have dual faces in cancer. Actually, they can contribute to carcinogenesis through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), angiogenesis, metastasis and tumor microenvironment (TME) of various cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC). On the other hand, they can be potential targets for cancer treatment. CRC is one of the most frequent tumors worldwide, with incidence rates rising in the recent decades. In its early stage, CRC is asymptomatic with poor treatment outcomes. Therefore, finding a non-invasive, early diagnostic biomarker tool and/or suitable defender to combat CRC is mandatory. Exosomes provide enrichment and safe setting for their cargos non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and proteins, whose expression levels can be upregulated ordown-regulated in cancer. Hence, exosomes can be used as diagnostic and/or prognostic tools for cancer. Moreover, exosomes can provide a novel potential therapeutic modality for tumors via loading with specific chemotherapeutic agents, with the advantage of possible tumor targeting. In this review, we will try to collect and address recent studies concerned with exosomes and their cargos' implications for CRC diagnosis and/or hopefully, treatment.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer (CRC); Exosomes; Long non coding RNA (LncRNA); Oncology; epigenetics; microRNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / physiology*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Long Noncoding