Molecular functions and therapeutic applications of exosomal noncoding RNAs in cancer

Cancer is one of the most difficult diseases in human society. Therefore, it is urgent for us to understand its pathogenesis and improve the cure rate. Exosomes are nanoscale membrane vesicles formed by a variety of cells through endocytosis. As a new means of intercellular information exchange, exosomes have attracted much attention. Noncoding RNAs exist in various cell compartments and participate in a variety of cellular reactions; in particular, they can be detected in exosomes bound to lipoproteins and free circulating molecules. Increasing evidence has suggested the potential roles of exosomal noncoding RNAs in the progression of tumors.

Researchers from Jinan University present a comprehensive update on the biological functions of exosomal noncoding RNAs in the development of cancer. Specifically, they mainly focus on the effects of exosomal noncoding RNAs, including microRNAs, circular RNAs, long noncoding RNAs, small nuclear RNAs, and small nucleolar RNAs, on tumor growth, metastasis, angiogenesis, and chemoresistance. Moreover, the researchers outline the current clinical implications concerning exosomal noncoding RNAs in cancer treatment.

The mechanisms of the exosomal miRNAs involved in cancer

Fig. 2

a Promoter angiogenesis. b Interacting with the 3′ UTR of its target genes and disrupting its transcription level. c Regulating the immune system as immunomodulators. d Influencing the progress of EMT. e Participating in tumor metabolic reprogramming. f Affecting the classic signaling pathways involved in tumorigenesis and development.

Liu QW, He Y, Xu WW. (2022) Molecular functions and therapeutic applications of exosomal noncoding RNAs in cancer. Exp Mol Med [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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