Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The Second Clinical Collage of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510120, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Clinical Research on Traditional Chinese Medicine Syndrome, The Second Clinical Collage of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510120, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are longer than 200 nts non-coding transcripts and have recently emerged as one of the largest and significantly diverse RNA families whereas microRNAs (miRNAs) are highly conserved short single-stranded ncRNAs (∼18-22 nucleotides). As families of small and long evolutionarily conserved ncRNAs, lncRNAs activate and repress genes via a variety of mechanisms at both transcriptional and translational levels, while miRNAs regulate protein-coding gene expression mainly through mRNA degradation or silencing, These ncRNAs have been proved to be involved in multiple biological functions, such as proliferation, differentiation, migration, angiogenesis and apoptosis. Today, while majority of studies have focused on defining the regulatory functions of lncRNAs and miRNAs, limited information have now available for the mutual regulations of lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNA. Thus, the underlying molecular mechanisms, in particularly the interactions among lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNA in development, growth, metastasis and therapeutic potential of cancer still remain obscure. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is known as the third most common and fourth leading cancer death worldwide. Increasing evidence showed the close correlations among aberrant expressions of lncRNAs, miRNAs and the occurrence, development of CRC. This review summarize the potential links among these RNAs in following three areas: 1, The biogenesis and roles of miRNAs in CRC; 2, The biogenesis and functions of lncRNAs in CRC; 3, The interactions among lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNA in tumorigensis, growth, progression, EMT formation, chemoradiotherapy resistance, and therapeutic potential in CRC. We believe that identifying diverging lncRNAs, miRNAs and relevant genes, their interactions and complex molecular regulatory networks will provide important clues for understanding the mechanism and developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for CRC. Further efforts are warranted to bring the promise of regulating their activities into clinical utilities.