Roles of circRNAs in the Tumorigenesis and Metastasis of HCC: A Mini Review

Cancer Manag Res. 2022 May 31;14:1847-1856. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S362594. eCollection 2022.


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs with loop structures that are stable and widely distributed in different tumor tissues. The development of high-throughput sequencing and in silico tools has enabled the discovery of numerous functional circRNAs. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignant tumor, and the mechanism involved in its progression has remained unclear. In recent years, an increasing number of circRNAs have been identified in HCC, contributing to tumorigenesis and metastasis and with the potential role as biomarkers through competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) as miRNA sponges or by interacting with RNA binding proteins (RBPs). In this review, we summarize the regulatory roles of circRNAs in HCC development as well as the use of bioinformatics tools in the annotation and prioritization of circRNA and highlight the participation of exosomal circRNAs in HCC metastasis and drug resistance.

Keywords: HCC; biomarker; circRNAs; exosome; metastasis; tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Review